HM The Queen will visit the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea today to open the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, one of most celebrated horticultural events in the world.
Show organisers, garden designers and exhibitors have been working around the clock over the past month to ensure the site is ready to receive over 165,000 visitors from Tuesday 19 – Saturday 23 May.
Ticket holders this year will note that many gardens are themed around key historical events including the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.
The 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War is also to be commemorated by John Everiss, whose garden tells the story of his father Stan, an RAF evader who was shot down in 1943. Stan was protected and nursed back to health by an ordinary family who were part of the French resistance.
Lieutenant Governor and Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Hospital Chelsea Major General David McDowall said: "We are proud to once again play host to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which is without doubt one of the finest horticultural events in the world.
"As a major highlight in our calendar, I know just how much the Chelsea Pensioners are looking forward to welcoming visitors to the grounds of their historic home as well as seeing this year's gardens. They are especially keen to see the gardens that will be commemorating key national anniversaries."
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been held at the Royal Hospital since 1913 and it has grown from 244 exhibitors in 1913 to over 500 today.
For more information about the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, including opening times and ticket enquiries, please click here to visit the RHS website.
Chelsea Pensioner and former Typex Operator Helen Andrews visits the famous codebreaker site
Chelsea Pensioners have recognised the work efforts of staff who will be working over the Christmas period