Monday marked the start of the Chelsea Flower Show, one of the royal family's favourite events of the year – which has been closed to the public due to the pandemic. Thankfully for them, and all fans of the show, the Royal Horticultural Society is hosting its first "virtual Chelsea" instead, and to mark the occasion, the Queen and The Countess of Wessex, together with other members of the family, have revealed something they have kept to themselves for years – their favourite flowers.
The Queen has previously revealed that she is not an expert in gardening but that "plants, trees and flowers have been a source of pleasure” throughout her life. And one flower in particular that brings her so much joy, is the lily of the valley, Buckingham Palace has revealed. Lily of the valley, with its dark green leaves and bell-shaped fragrant white flowers, featured in the Queen's coronation bouquet and has held special associations for her ever since.
The Queen with a replica of her Coronation Day bouquet
The Earl and Countess of Wessex chose azaleas, describing them as "so breathtaking at this time of year and have the most intoxicating scent".
As well as choosing their favourite flowers, some members of the royal family, such as Sophie, took photographs while at home in lockdown of their gardens. Prince Edward's wife chose to photograph orange and pink azaleas.
Sophie got behind the camera to capture her favourite flowers
Other family members who shared their favourite blooms include Prince Charles, who revealed: "For me, the magnificent, gloriously apparelled delphinium, with its impeccable bearing and massed in platoons, holds pride of place in my botanical affections."
The Duchess of Cornwall selected alchemilla mollis, otherwise known as lady's mantle. "This acid green fluffy-flowered plant is one of the best-ever foliage plants for the garden and the vase. A must for every gardener..." she said.
Princess Anne' favourite blooms are hellebores
The Queen's only daughter, Princess Anne, picked hellebores, saying: "Not only do they flower early but they keep flowering for two months, and they are often beautifully marked with endless variations."
Anne got behind the camera to capture hellebores, also known as the Christmas rose, which have cup-shaped flowers ranging from white and yellow to pink and dark purple.