PRINCESS DIANA once made an embarrassing mistake while attending the annual Chelsea Flower Show, according to a royal insider.
Members of the Royal Family have been regular visitors to the Chelsea Flower Show for more than a century. Although the horticultural event has been taken online this year due to the pandemic, it was still introduced by the Queen as she acknowledged her family’s long-term connection with the event. Senior royals from Kate Middleton to Prince Harry have even presented their own gardens at the event in the past.
While they all clearly enjoy the occasion, Princess Diana once made a major blunder when attending the three-day display.
Speaking to The Telegraph in 2017, RHS shows director Stephen Bennett revealed a private conversation with the Princess of Wales about her mistake.
He explained: “The Princess of Wales was a huge media attraction, of course.
“Didn’t know much about gardening — she was there to support a charity of which she was patron — but she laughed when I raised an eyebrow at her high heels.
“At that point she was sinking into the lawn.
Princess Diana with flowers named after her which were to go on sale at Chelsea Fashion Show (1997) (Image: Getty/Mirrorpix)
Diana loved flowers but once made an embarrassing blunder when attending the Chelsea Flower Show (Image: Getty)
“I said, ‘When in a garden ma’am, one should be smart only from the ankles up’.”
Diana developed a reputation for her great style and elegance during her years on the frontline.
Although she loved flowers, she confessed that she did not have much of a green thumb.
Graham Dillamore, the head gardener of Kensingtom Palace’s memorial garden from 1984 to 1992, told The Telegraph back in 2017 about Diana’s approach to the royal grounds.
Diana professed to not being a fantastic gardener and wore heels when attending the event once (Image: Getty)
He said: “She was incredibly flattering and complimentary about the work that we did.
“I think she appreciated the hard work we put in, she was more worried about us out in the cold and asked are we wrapped up.
“She loved the colours and the brightness [of the garden]… she would ask how we came about picking the colours and getting the colour scheme so we would discuss that.”
He added that she “never confessed to being a fantastic gardener” but had a “fondness for soft pinks, whites, yellow, pastel shades”.
Mr Dillamore elaborated: “She used to turn her nose up if I ever put red or deep purple flowers.”
Her preference for softer shades was honoured during the 20th anniversary of her death, when a memorial White Garden was created at Kensington Palace.
Prince Harry presented the Queen to his ‘Forget-me-not’ garden display for his charity Sentebale in 2013 (Image: Getty)
Kate, William and Harry attend the Memorial Garden to commemorate 20 years since Diana’s death in 2017 (Image: Getty)
It was inspired by Diana’s life and style — such as her iconic white ‘Elvis’ dress — and included white roses, lilies, gladioli and cosmos near the Sunken Garden.
She lived in Kensington Palace until her death in 1997, and reportedly had a soft spot for that particular part of the grounds.
Diana was also honoured by Kate Middleton during her exhibit at Chelsea Flower Show last year.
Her “back to nature” garden featured bunches of blue forget-me-nots as a tribute to Diana.
The Princess’ younger brother once claimed these were Diana’s favourite flowers.
Sean Harking, head gardener at Kensington Palace, told Vogue in 2017: “Earl Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother, gave [her] some forget-me-nots to her when they were younger.
Flowers laid by mourning members of the public following Diana’s sudden death in 1997 (Image: Getty)
“They stayed with her as one of her favourite flowers.”
Prince Harry did the same during his 2013 display at the Chelsea Flower Show.
His exhibition called ‘Forget-Me-Not’ was meant to primarily honour his charity Sentebale, which aims to help children suffering from Aids.
The charity itself was set up in his mother’s memory, and Sentebale also translates in Lesotho to forget-me-not.
The garden featured many of the namesake flowers, too.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK