Click here to send this news item to a friend The late Queen Mother's desire to see her residence turned into a major tourist attraction is to receive a boost with the cooperation of green-fingered Alan Titchmarsh. The TV gardener, who knew the Queen Mother well, has been recruited by Prince Charles to help head up a campaign designed to place the Scottish castle – which already attracts over 20,000 visitors a year – firmly on the tourist map. "The Castle of Mey is, without doubt, my favourite royal garden," says Alan. Despite harsh conditions, the garden thrives, which "personifies the great strength of character we all associate with the late Queen Mother" while retaining her feminine touch.

As newly-appointed patron of the Friends of the Castle of Mey, the Gardener's World celebrity will help Prince Charles draw increasing numbers of visitors to the site. Friends membership is to be opened to the general public, with members entitled to attend drinks receptions at both the Castle itself and Charles' Highgrove estate.

A number of improvements to the castle and grounds are also planned, bringing closer the Queen Mother's dream of seeing her residence attract prosperity and benefits to the area she held so dear.

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Photo: ©
The much-loved TV gardener, who knew the Queen Mother well, admits that the Castle of Mey is his favourite royal garden Click on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
As part of the new makeover, 'Friends' of the castle will be able to attend exclusive drinks receptions both here and at Highgrove