Today, 10 June, is a poignant milestone for the Queen, as the date on which her late husband would have celebrated his 100th birthday. A fitting tribute has been paid to Prince Philip to mark the occasion in the form of the Duke of Edinburgh Rose, named in his honour to coincide with his centenary and presented to the monarch last week.
An ardent lover of gardens and nature, the Queen is Patron of The Royal Horticultural Society. She therefore no doubt appreciates the thoughtful commemorative gift: a beautiful, deep pink variety of bloom, newly bred by British grower Harkness Roses.
The Monarch was presented with the Duke of Edinburgh Rose by the President of the Royal Horticultural Society, Keith Weed, on Wednesday 2 June. It was then planted in the mixed rose border of the East Terrace Garden at Windsor Castle, a favourite royal residence of the Queen and her late husband. Touchingly, Philip was himself closely involved in designing the garden, having overseen the restructuring of the flowerbeds and introduced the striking bronze lotus fountain which stands pride of place at its centre.
Prince Philip – the longest serving Royal Consort in history – died on 9 April at Windsor Castle, aged 99. Keith Weed commented of the new rose: ‘Whilst being very poignant, it was also a delight to give Her Majesty The Queen, Patron of the Royal Horticultural Society, the Duke of Edinburgh Rose to mark what would have been HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday and to remember his remarkable life. The Duke’s devotion to raising public awareness of the importance of conserving the natural world leaves a lasting legacy.’
In a further nod to the late royal’s life and work, a royalty from the sale of every commemorative rose will support Philip’s passion project by going towards The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Living Legacy Fund, which aims to increase access to the DofE scheme to offer more young people the chance to participate.
Weed is quoted in the Times alluding to the unusual layered appearance of the rose, stating that ‘it’s a commemorative rose for all the marvellous things that he did over his lifetime… It’s a beautiful flower in itself, a double flower’, to which the Queen replied: ‘It looks lovely.’
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