Queen arrives at Chelsea Flower Show after ‘last-minute decision’ over health

The Queen at Chelsea Flower Show 2022
Doubts over the Queen’s ability to attend continued until the day of the show (Picture: James Whatling)

The Queen has turned up to the Chelsea Flower Show after recent bouts of ill health forced her to make a last-minute decision on her attendance.

The 96-year-old toured the west London event in a specially adapted buggy, thought to be the first time she has done so for any official engagement in nearly a decade.

She arrived shortly after 5.30pm and was shown around 10 gardens, including one containing a floral display celebrating her 70-year reign.


Renowned florist Simon Lycett designed the bespoke display, with flowerpots arranged in a likeness of her silhouette.

They were planted with Lily of the Valley, said to be one of Her Majesty’s favourite flowers which featured in her coronation bouquet.

Mr Lycett previously said he would find it ‘utterly overwhelming and magical’ if the monarch visited his display in person.


Earlier on Monday, he told the Telegraph: ‘It would be totally special, and a delicious cherry on top of what is already a rather gorgeous cake.’

Queen Elizabeth II sitting in a buggy during a visit by members of the royal family to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022, at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, in London. Picture date: Monday May 23, 2022. PA Photo.. Photo credit should read: Paul Grover/Daily Telegraph/PA Wire
The 96-year-old arrived in a specially adapted buggy (Picture: PA)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 23: Queen Elizabeth II is given a tour during a visit to The Chelsea Flower Show 2022 at the Royal Hospital Chelsea on May 23, 2022 in London, England. The Chelsea Flower Show returns to its usual place in the horticultural calendar after being cancelled in 2020 and postponed in 2021 due to the Covid pandemic. This year sees the Show celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee and also a theme of calm and mindfulness running through the garden designs. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
She visited a number of displays, including a Jubilee photo exhibition (Picture: Getty)
Chelsea Pensioners Ted Fell, left, and George Reid pose as they view
She viewed Simon Lycett’s Lily of the Valley display evoking her famous silhouette (PIcture: Reuters)

A number of other installations matched the theme, including a canopy of flowers evoking the Scottish landscape near Balmoral.

The Queen confessed during an audience in February to having severe mobility issues.


She surprised onlookers at last week’s opening of the Elizabeth line with a surprise appearance, and attended two horse shows earliert his month, but missed the State Opening of Parliament.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 23: Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex are given a tour of
Other royals present included Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Essex (Picture: Getty)

Serious doubts over her ability to attend the flower show persisted until the day of the show, with palace officials said to be postponing confirmation of her attendance until hours before.

Speaking of the special buggy, a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said: ‘Adjustments have been made for the Queen’s comfort.’


Just 10 days remain until the start of the palace’s high-profile Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

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