Royal insiders fear Princess of Wales’s visit to Chelsea Flower Show overshadowed that by the King
Royal insiders have expressed concerns that King Charles was overshadowed by the Princess of Wales during his first visit to the Chelsea Flower Show as monarch.
His Majesty, who is known to be a keen gardener and lover of nature, attended the annual event in London on Monday, May 22, for the first time since becoming King.
While there the monarch and his wife, Queen Camilla, presented a medal in memory of his late mother, Queen Elizabeth, to honor the leading lights of gardening – and will be given to 70 people at any one time in memory of Her Majesty’s 70- year reign.
However, some royal sources have expressed concern that the visit by Charles and Camilla was overshadowed by a surprise appearance by Catherine, Princess of Wales, at the same event on the same day.
Kate was seen meeting youngsters from ten schools taking part in the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Campaign for School Gardening where she encouraged participants to ‘work hard’.
Catherine, Princess of Wales, takes part in the first Children’s Picnic at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show on Monday
Kate’s surprise appearance left visitors to the show delighted, but some royal sources have questioned if she overshadowed the King and Queen.
But the amount of coverage given to the younger royal’s visit has sparked alarm in some circles that Charles may find himself eclipsed by his daughter-in-law, a claim mirroring that when he was married to his first wife, Princess Diana.
One insider told the Daily Mail’s Richard Eden: ‘With his love of horticulture, His Majesty’s appearance at Chelsea was an important engagement.
‘It’s a shame that his visit with Her Majesty the Queen received less coverage than might have been expected. I hope they are not too disappointed.
In his controversial memoir, Spare, Prince Harry claimed he and his brother William were restricted in how many public engagements they could undertake.
The King’s youngest son wrote: ‘Pa and Camilla didn’t like Willy and Kate drawing attention away from them or their causes. They’d openly scolded Willy about it many times.’
Harry referred to one occasion when his sister-in-law was scheduled to undertake an engagement at a tennis club on the same day that Charles and Camilla were due to appear elsewhere at an official event.
This had been strictly prohibited, Harry explained, because such a ‘fetching’ photo would ruin Charles and Camilla’s chances of being on the front page of the papers the following day.
He said: ‘That could not be tolerated. Told that it was too late to cancel the visit, Pa’s press officer warned: ‘Just make sure the Duchess doesn’t hold a tennis racquet in any of the photos’.
King Charles, pictured here arriving at the show with Queen Camilla, is a well-known lover of gardening and nature.
Concern that Kate could overshadow the King mirrors similar claims during his first marriage to Princess Diana (pictured).
King Charles views a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show after arriving with Camilla on Monday
King Charles hugs Korean designer Jihae Hwang as he visits her ‘A Letter From A Million Years Past’ Garden
At RHS Chelsea on Monday the King and Queen showed no signs of annoyance at the Princess of Wales’s surprise visit, as they enjoyed themselves at the flower show.
Charles and Camilla took separate tours around some of the gardens, with the King revealing that he was looking for plants to replace ones eaten by rabbits at Highgrove.
The Queen, meanwhile, couldn’t resist making an unscheduled stop-over at a Chelsea garden to test out its swing.
Camilla dashed into the London Square Community Garden designed by James Smith to encourage people to meet together, relax and share food, while connecting with nature.
Her Majesty admired the stunning flowers and the giant communal table inset with chess and drought boards with up-cycled chairs created by The Repair Shop’s Jay Blades, who was a guest at the coronation.
Later on the couple presented the first medals in the ‘Garden of Royal Reflection and Celebration’ to garden designer Piet Oudolf, Baroness Janet Fookes, who is a champion of horticulture in Parliament, and environmental champion Judy Ling Wong.
RHS President Keith Weed said: ‘The Royal Horticultural Society was exceptionally fortunate to have Her Majesty as our patron throughout her reign.
‘This award celebrates both Her Majesty’s glorious reign and the work she did to raise the profile of UK horticulture both nationally and internationally through her visits to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and wider work.’