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Why the Queen missed one of her favourite royal events

The monarch is a regular at the annual event

queen misses chelsea flower show
Danielle Stacey
Danielle StaceyOnline Royal CorrespondentLondon
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The Queen missed out on one of her favourite events of the calendar last week, but there was a good reason for her absence.  

For the first time since 2005, the monarch, 95, did not make her traditional visit to the Chelsea Flower Show as she is still at Balmoral.

But there were plenty of royal visitors on the show's opening day, with the Princess Royal, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and the Queen's cousin's, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra, all in attendance.

READ: Countess of Wessex, Princess Anne and the Queen's cousins visit Chelsea Flower Show - best photos

WATCH: Judi Dench unveils the Queen's Green Canopy Garden at Chelsea Flower Show

Earlier in the day, Dame Judi Dench officially opened The RHS Queen's Green Canopy Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. Dame Judi is a QGC ambassador and supports the initiative to celebrate Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee in 2022 by inviting people to 'Plant a Tree for the Jubilee'.

The Queen has been patron of the Royal Horticultural Society since her reign began in 1952, and has been a regular at the Chelsea Flower Show ever since.

She missed the 2005 event because she was carrying out an official visit to Canada with the Duke of Edinburgh.

MORE: 9 stunning photos of the royals at the Chelsea Flower Show

MORE: Prince Charles' exciting new TV project revealed

edward sophie chelsea flower show© Photo: Getty Images

The Earl and Countess of Wessex at the Chelsea Flower Show

The gardening celebration usually takes place in May but for the first time in its 108-year history, it took place in autumn.

It comes after the annual event went virtual for the first time in 2020 following the outbreak of COVID-19.

The monarch is likely to stay at her Scottish estate until mid-October. On Friday, she and the Prince of Wales, known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland, will mark the start of the official planting season for The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) at the Balmoral Estate.

The Queen, accompanied by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, will also attend the Opening Ceremony to mark the Sixth Session of the Scottish Parliament on Saturday 2 October.

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