The weather may not have been on the Royal Horticultural Societys side for the preview opening of the annual Chelsea Flower Show yesterday, grey clouds loomed over West London, but the attendees including the Queen and Prince Harry were in high spirits.
The Royals were there to view the 15 show gardens, including the Forget-Me-Not garden designed by Jinny Blom, in aid of Prince Harrys charity Sentebale (which helps orphans in the African country of Lesotho, which the prince founded after spending some of his gap year there).
The impressive array of gardens and exhibits playing home to plants from around the world took two weeks to build with expert teams working 14-hour days. Greenhouses and refrigerators enticed flowers into bloom just in time for the doors to open. The Chelsea Flower Show is expected to see 150,000 visitors from its official opening today until the doors close on another year on Saturday.
Other guests yesterday included ELLE cover star Lily Allen, Joanna Lumley and Victoria Pendleton. While Jamie Oliver, never far from some kind of kitchen accouterments, could be found in one garden making pizzas.
But it wasnt just the celebrities and Royals causing a frisson of excitement yesterday, because for the first time in its 100 year history Gnomes were allowed in. The little fellows, including a Prince William gnome and a very pregnant Kate gnome, came from far and wide to More