As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect people and events around the globe, the Royal Horticultural Society has announced that the Chelsea Flower Show has been cancelled this year. The annual event is usually attended by its royal patron, the Queen, and members of the royal family.
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A statement on the RHS' website said that their shows at Chelsea, Malvern, Chatsworth and Harlow Carr will not take place this year, following the UK government's decision to no longer support mass gatherings due to the impact on emergency services.
The Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Countess of Wessex have also attended the spectacular London show in the past. Last year, the Duchess of Cambridge co-designed the Back to Nature garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. The green-fingered royal showed the Queen around the site on its opening day at the show and delighted royal fans, when she and husband Prince William released footage of their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, playing in the space.
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The Queen with William and Kate at the Chelsea Flower Show 2019
Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, said: "In these unprecedented challenging times we have carefully followed Government advice and made difficult, responsible decisions with the health and safety of people at the foremost of our minds.
"Our RHS Shows are vitally important platforms for the horticultural industry, and we are especially aware of the impact of cancelling these events on everyone involved. We will be doing all we can to help growers and nurseries to sell the plants they will have grown for the cancelled shows.
"As with everyone, we have no crystal ball, but for the time being we are planning our Summer Flower Shows and our Gardens remain open, as they are large outside spaces where people can escape in open space and benefit from some tranquillity and beauty, surrounded by nature – all things that are much needed during these unsettling times.
"Things of course may change, but whatever decisions we make, safety will be utmost in our mind and we will, like the rest of the world, be monitoring the situation closely."
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