The Princess Royal is to represent the Royal Family at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show while the Queen is set to be a notable absentee. Anne will be joined by Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex as well as the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra. Yet the monarch will miss the event for the first time since 2005, after the date was pushed back because of the pandemic.
The show, which the Queen last year admitted at the Virtual Chelsea Flower Show was one she “always enjoyed”, was moved from May to September 21, when Her Majesty is customarily in Balmoral.
Since the Queen’s 1953 coronation, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) claims she has missed just 10 Chelsea Flower Shows.
However the Queen’s daughter Anne, who is also a frequent visitor of the show, will be one of the most notable royal faces at this year’s event.
Unearthed accounts reveal that the princess once allegedly made a snide remark on the quality of the year’s show to horticulturalist Nick Bailey.
Mr Bailey, who is also a writer, told Garden’s Illustrated: “One of the funnier stories was when Princess Anne came to the edge of my garden one year.
“[She] lent over to me and whispered, ‘there’s a load of old rubbish here, but this is lovely.
“I think when the Royal Family are at Chelsea they are a little more relaxed than usual because they are en masse and there isn’t as much pressure on them individually.”
Though the royals are traditionally tight lipped, Anne is known for her quick wit and dry sense of humour.
Mr Bailey recalled another Royal encounter with Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice and spoke about the Queen’s “aura” during her frequent visits to the show.
He said: “I have a few stories about the Royal Family, including the fact that the Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie came to one of the gardens I did and were both obsessed with the viewing platform.
“[They] wanted to buy it.”
He added: “I’ve never actually spoken to the Queen and wouldn’t describe myself as a royalist, but when you see her there’s a sort of aura around Her Majesty.
“I can’t really describe it ‒ she’s such an icon.”
According to the RHS the Queen attracts crowds of up to 157,000 every year at the Chelsea Flower Show.
Anne will be one of those filling the monarch’s shoes this year, and according to estate agent Savoy Stewart, the Queen’s daughter is the hardest working of the royals.
Having analysed the Court Circular, Savoy Stewart which records all royal engagements, as of September 16 Savoy Stewart claims Anne has worked 106 days this year.
Prince Charles, has worked six days fewer than his sister, while their 95-year-old mother the Queen has worked 94 days.
According to the Independent Anne once quipped: “When I appear in public people expect me to neigh, grind my teeth, paw the ground and swish my tail ‒ none of which is easy.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK