The Queen has been taken around the Chelsea Flower Show in a buggy for the first time after suffering from mobility issues.
The 96-year-old monarch visited the event in west London today before it opens to the public tomorrow.
Buckingham Palace said: “Adjustments have been made for the Queen’s comfort.”
It is believed to be the first time in nearly a decade that the Queen has used a buggy at an official engagement.
She wore a bright pink outfit, complete with pearls and a floral brooch. She arrived at around 5.35pm and was shown around 10 gardens using the vehicle – including visiting a floral display to mark her 70-year reign.
The Platinum Jubilee arrangement is covered on both sides with an assortment of native British-grown tree branches with connecting inner shelves arranged with 70 terracotta pots planted with lily of the valley, one of the monarch’s favourite plants.
Another installation aims to transport visitors to one of the Queen’s favourite places, with a canopy of flowers including fresh delphiniums, emulating the colours and planting of the Scottish landscape near the Royal Family’s Balmoral Castle estate in Aberdeenshire.
In the show’s Great Pavilion, the monument is surrounded by a photography exhibition of the Queen visiting the show throughout her reign.
The Queen, who confessed during an audience in February to not being able to move, is only 10 days away from the start of her high-profile Jubilee celebrations.
Other members of the royal family – the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Princess Beatrice, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra – are also touring the show at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London.
Ainsley Harriott rescues sister from water feature
The show has returned to its traditional May slot, with the gardens focusing on wildlife and wellbeing. Celebrities and members of the Royal Family have been getting a first look at the Royal Horticultural Society’s showpiece event today.
Among the show gardens is a recreation of a beaver wetland, complete with a beaver lodge, dam, streams and natural wildflower planting.
Ainsley Harriott was seen helping his sister after she fell into the water feature on the bee garden as they visited the Chelsea Flower Show.
The TV chef later tweeted his thanks to other people who helped her after her fall, and said: “She’s doing fine and all is well.”
Show returns to May slot
The Chelsea Flower Show is back in its May slot for the first time since 2019, after being cancelled in 2020 and moved to September for 2021 due to the pandemic.
Garden designer and TV presenter Joe Swift said it was good to see the flower show return to May after last year’s September show.
“It was great for a one-off, and September was gorgeous, it showed a different palette of plants and it worked really nicely,” he said.
“I’m not sure you would want it every year, so it’s nice to have it back in May.”