Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Royals and Roses

William, Kate and Harry at the Chelsea Flower Show 2016
(photo @Kensington Royal Twitter)

Life may not always be a bed of roses for royalty but at this year's Chelsea Flower Show there were plenty of royals and plenty of roses. After a difficult weekend in which the Duke of York faced scrutiny over his finances, just about every member of the House of Windsor arrived at the famous event filled with smiles. After a tricky few days, it was time to come out smelling of roses.

There was, of course, a big spotlight on the Duchess of Cambridge - Kate was making her first appearance at the show. So was William but funnily enough there were more people interested in his duchess.

Prince Harry is a regular of the Chelsea Flower Show, having exhibited before with his Sentebale gardens, and he was on hand to show his brother and sister in law the floral routine.

By the time they got there, there was a huge royal presence already. The Countess of Wessex had arrived as had the Princess Royal and her husband, Tim Lawrence.

The Duke of York had also made an appearance with his two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.  The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra also attended. It's the biggest royal turnout there for years.


The star guest was, of course, the Queen who arrived, of course, last.  She is patron of the show and this is the 51st time she has walked among its scented paths.

There was plenty for them to see. The star attraction was the 5,000 poppies installation, a tribute to those who have fought and fallen in war, The handmade poppies have turned part of Chelsea into a sea of red floral tributes and all the royal visitors spent time looking at it and surveying its poignant message.

There was also a striking creation of the iconic profile of the Queen seen on stamps and coins in a rainbow of flowers and as Elizabeth II walked around it some of the royal photos of the year were snapped.

The Chelsea Flower Show has counted on royal support since it started in 1913 but this year really was a regal turnout. Life hasn't been a bed of roses for the House of Windsor in the last few days but tonight they put that behind them to smell the flowers in a show of family unity.

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