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David Austin Roses wins 24th Gold at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018

David Austin Roses, the by word for excellence in English Roses, won their 24th Gold at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. As always this was also their chance to showcase their new rose for the show, this year being ‘Tottering-by-gently’ inspired by Annie Tempest’s cartoon which appears in County Life every week. In addition to the 10 show gardens and 16 smaller ones, there were a host of celebrities to add to the colour of the floral displays. Themes for the gardens ranged from local company, Trailfinders’ inspiration of the Western Cape of South Africa, to the Yorkshire Dales, to recyclable plastic. Truly inspirational garden displays.

Images and copyright:  www.lucyelliottphotography.com

 

Radiant HRH The Princess Royal reviews Chelsea Pensioners at Founder’s Day Parade

HRH The Princess Royal officially opened the refurbished Wren designed ‘Long Wards’ whilst visiting Royal Hospital Road, home to the Chelsea Pensioners, at their recent annual Founder’s Day Parade. Dressed in pale blue and looking strikingly similar to the Queen at a young age, she enchanted the men in scarlet and showed her mother’s knack for sharing a quick joke with all she met. Sporting an Oak Leaf, symbolic of the tree King Charles II hid behind in order to avoid capture by the Parliamentary forces in 1661 at the Battle of Worcester, ‘Oak Apple Day’ as Founder’s Day is also known, is held on a day closest to King Charles II birthday (29th May) and the date of his restoration as King in 1660.  Those attending the parade represented many of the British corps, rejiments and military charities of which HRH The Princess Royal is Colonel in Chief, Colonel or Patron.

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott, www.lucyelliottphotography
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Chelsea Flower Show 2016

This year’s Chelsea Flower Show will appeal to all types of gardeners.  From the flamboyant to the traditional, from the informal to the formal, this Show has it all.  Phillip Johnson’s 300,000 individually crochet poppies covering 21,000 sq.ft is a visual masterpiece and surely one which can never be forgotten; each poppy representing a memory of a loved one.  Elsewhere was a Heath-Robinson like garden, with moving plant pots, twirling trees and a moving flower bed.  For the more royal amongst us, the Queen was represented by a 10ft cut out of her head, filled with 10,000 flowers – a striking image used by many journalists.  The show felt more inclusive this year, taking itself less seriously, but no less impressive for that.  Keen gardeners of all ages mixed with celebrities and stars, their common love of plants uniting them in appreciating all that Chelsea has to offer.

One of the biggest surprises was the Garden Garage in the Artisan Section – a beautifully designed and tranquil area in which to house a car. Magazines and broadsheets focused on the first black designer for Chelsea, ever (which rather puts to shame the notion that gardening is for all); however, the bonus of the attention is that the RHS and wider gardening world, are rectifying this and, we hope, gardening in the future, will really be for all. As we hope Chelsea will be too.

Images and copyright: lucyelliottphotography.com
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First World War Commemoration: The Great War Centenary Parade with HRH Prince and Princess Michael of Kent at Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea

Royal Hospital Chelsea marked this occasion with a rather spectacular ‘The Great War Centenary Parade’ where 40 Edwardian cars were driven by their owners and accompanied by Chelsea Pensioners, whose predecessors had fought in the War, from the Hospital to the Imperial War Museum. The event was organised by Nicholas Pellett whose grandfather was killed in the first World War and was held in the presence of HRH Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

Image and copyright: Lucy Elliott www.lucyelliottphotography.com

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HRH Duke of Kent visits Royal Hospital Road to celebrate Founder’s Day

A beautiful day but tinged with sadness as many Pensioners were not present due to the Anniversary celebrations of D-Day at Normandy. However, those present looked radiant in their red coats. Prior to the service the Duke was shown around the new accommodation for the Pensioners and was impressed with the efforts made by many to establish the Royal Hospital as a beacon of excellence in the domain of care. The sun shone for most of the morning, making a particularly rather splendid appearance on cue for the National Anthem. At the end of the service as HRH Duke of Kent and other dignitaries walked back through the great oak doors, the bagpipes played. Everyone was still, with the bagpipes playing in the distance, quieter and quieter. Very moving. We were delighted to catch up with Joe Britten, their oldest resident who is 102 (and eight months)!

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott/www.lucyelliottphotography.com
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HRH Prince Michael of Kent unveils memorial to Colonel Carlos at Royal Hospital Road

Some 90 descendants of Colonel William Carlos attended this event, of all ages, together with representatives from Royal Hospital Road. Carlos was credited with saving King Charles II by hiding him in the Boscobel Oak whilst Cromwell’s army were searching for him. King Charles II is recognised as the founder of Royal Hospital Chelsea, when in 1681 he issued a Royal Warrant for its foundation. Each Founder’s Day, as it was today, the statue is covered with oak leaves to remind us of his escape after the Battle of Worcester in 1651. The text of the King’s 1658 Grant of Arms to Colonel Carlos makes clear the King’s conviction that the Colonel’s actions at Boscobel were the main reason for his own, and thus the Royal Family’s, survival.

From an anthropological perspective it was lovely to see 90 people introducing each other to other parts of this extended family and find out exactly how they were related.  Congratulations must go to John Doble (descendant) who organised much of today’s event.

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To see more images from this event, please go to:  http://clients.lucyelliottphotography.com/v/photos/80298twf

Images and Copyright:  Lucy Elliott / Lucy Elliott Photography

 

 

HRH The Countess of Wessex Reviews the Chelsea Pensions at their Founder’s Day

HRH The Countess of Wessex reviewed 283 In-Pensioners at the Royal Hospital on Thursday. Clearly enjoying herself she spoke to many of those being reviewed, including Joe Britton who is approaching 101. The Hospital apparently has one of the “best Clubs” in Britain, provides support and respite to soldiers injured from fighting in Afghanistan, and throughout the year holds social events such as lectures, drinks parties and an annual carol service in the Wren chapel. It is well known that those lucky enough to live at Royal Hospital Road enjoy a full and active life with life expectancy of more than ten years of those living on their own. The ‘Scarlet Coats’ are very well recognised and honoured throughout the UK, with even one of the budget airlines giving them excellent and preferential service! The rain held off until the end of the ceremony when attendees (including those in Scarlet Coats) moved extremely fast to undercover  provided by the marquees to continue celebrating this very special day for them.

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott/The Kensington Magazine
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Chelsea AutoLegends: Royal Hospital Road

A wonderful chance to see more than 600 of the finest and most celebrated classic, competition and supercars in Central London.  As a precursor to Glorious Goodwood and closer to home, this was fantastic.   An impressive line up of over 30 iconic Le Mans cars ranging from Bentleys of the 1920s, through the Ferraris and Porsches of the 1960s and 1970s right up to today’s state of the art diesel prototypes that currently rule the French classic.  Also on show were the Aston Martin One-77, Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari 599 GTO, Pagani Zonda and the new McLaren MP4-12C.   Other highlights included special 50th birthday celebration displays of the E type Jaguars and Mini Coopers, plus the presence of two film legends: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Pink Panther car.   Added to this were a further 350 members who bought their own classic cars to Royal Hospital Road.  Despite the torrential rain, this was a wonderful day with many enthusiastic fathers sharing their passion with their wives and children.

Image copyright:  Lucy Elliott/The Kensington Magazine

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The Launch of ‘Gardening Leave’ at Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea

Gardening Leave is a small charity, founded by Anna Baker Cresswell in 2007.   It provides a safe haven for ex-Service personnel by offering Horticultural Therapy in walled gardens .   The safety of the garden, i.e. walled in structure is particularly important since most of the veterans visiting the garden suffer from hypervigilance as a result of their time in active service.   This means they live on their live on their nerves and constantly look over their shoulders.  Hence in a walled garden there are no nasty surprises, and gradually with time, the veterans learn to relax in this environment.    This is the third Garden Leave Garden and the first in England.

The new garden was officially opened by Ben Fogle, just back from his trip with Prince Harry in the Arctic (and perhaps a little more used to adventure and exploration than planting trees!) and CEO Anna Baker Cresswell and in the presence of the Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea, Councillor James Husband.

To find out more about this charity, please see www.gardeningleave.org or call 01292 521444

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Images Lucy Elliott
Copyright: The Kensington Magazine