King and Queen visit Chelsea Flower Show

Close up of King Charles surrounded by plants
[Getty Images]

King Charles III and Queen Camilla have visited the Chelsea Flower Show.

It is the King's first visit since the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) - the gardening charity that holds the annual show in London - named him as its patron last week. The King's late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, held the position for 70 years.

RHS Director General Clare Matterson said the royal attendance “means the world” to them and their wider horticultural family.

The King's fondness for horticulture and the environment are well known and in 2009, the late Queen presented him with the RHS Victoria Medal of Honour, the charity’s highest award.

On Monday, the King toured a number of gardens in the blazing sunshine, alongside his wife, who is also said to be a keen gardener.

Queen Camilla made a solo visit to the Bridgerton Garden, inspired by the Netflix show of aristocratic dramas, which she revealed she had seen the first series of.

King Charles and Queen Camilla walk in the sunshine at the Chelsea Flower Show

Monday’s trip also saw the Royal couple visit the “no adults allowed” garden designed by school children, ahead of its opening to the public on Tuesday.

The next generation of gardeners is a theme of this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.

The No Adults Allowed Garden was designed by children for children, with a den and a slide at the heart of it.

Despite the name, an exception was made for the royal party to see what the young gardeners had to offer.

Talking to children in the garden, the King stated: "There's nothing more fun than eating the things you've grown," adding "it tastes so much better".

The couple were also given a badge each from Sulivan Primary School students who helped design the garden.

The King's badge called him "King of the Compost", which he joked was "quite right", while the Queen's badge read "Queen of the Bees".

The King and Queen with pupils from Sulivan Primary School
The King and Queen pose with Sulivan Primary School children [Getty Images]
King Charles speaks to Alan and Alison Titchmarsh during a visit to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London.
The King met Alan and Alison Titchmarsh earlier on Monday [PA Media]

The opening day of the event brings with it a touch of horticultural glamour.

Admiring the designs were gardener Alan Titchmarsh, actresses Joanna Lumley and Judi Dench, comedians Tom Allen and Joe Lycett and Olympian Jessica Ennis-Hill, who revealed she was attending to try to work out why her wisteria had not flowered for seven years.

Dame Judi placed a seedling from the Sycamore Gap tree, felled in an act of vandalism last year, onto the National Trust's Octavia Hill garden.

Another focus of the Show is sustainability, with gardens filled with drought-resilient plants, water storage and green innovation.

The RHS has introduced a "green audit" for larger gardens and is handing out an environmental innovation award for the first time.

A warm and wet winter has had an impact on what Chelsea looks like this year, with many plants flowering early - causing designers to rethink their gardens.

More than 150,000 visitors are expected to visit the Flower Show over the next five days.

Coverage of the event will run across eight days of broadcasts on BBC One and BBC Two, concluding on Sunday 26 May.