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30 May 2024

King and Queen Meet Sulivan Primary School Pupils at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

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On Monday 20th May, pupils from Sulivan Primary School received a very exciting royal visit from Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The purpose of the special visit was to see the pupils’ ‘No Adults Allowed Garden’ at the flower show which the children had designed themselves, alongside garden designer Harry Holding.

Despite the fact that, as the name suggests, the garden is for children only, the pupils made a special exception to allow the King and Queen to visit. However, there were conditions – the King and Queen had to pay a “forfeit” by handing over a posey of flowers beginning with the first letters of their names. They chose camellias from the Buckingham Palace gardens.

Upon entering the garden, the royal couple were given a badge each by pupils. The King’s badge read “King of the Compost”, whilst the Queen was named “Queen of the Bees”. King Charles was amused by the name, joking that it was “Quite right!”

Having granted them access, pupils thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to show their guests around the garden, which includes a den, a slide and a water feature, as well as to chat with the King and Queen.

The completed garden is the culmination of pupils’ hard work over the past year with Harry Holding to design their dream garden and bring their ideas to life. The result is a journey through a wonderful mix of landscapes, including meadows and a woodland filled with bog plants.

Once the flower show has ended, the garden will relocate to the school site where it will be open to pupils and members of the local community to enjoy.

Speaking about the garden, one pupil at Sulivan Primary School said:

“I really like how there’s different parts of the garden, because when you enter there’s a forest but then there’s a meadow in another part.”

Another pupil commented:

“The best thing about the garden is the den because there’s a slide that goes underwater which I think is very cool! There is also a secret door which you can only open from the inside of the den so adults can’t come in!”

When asked about what they will remember about the overall experience, one pupil said:

“When I am 25, I will drive past the school and I will know that I made that garden.”

Some pupils were also lucky enough to talk about the garden on BBC Breakfast. One pupil commented:

“I will remember being on the BBC when Charlotte, the presenter, asked me to say something because I knew people all over the world were listening.”

Wendy Aldridge, Head Teacher at Sulivan Primary School, said:

“Our pupils were so excited to have this once in a lifetime opportunity to not only design a garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, but also to meet the King and Queen and show them around the magical space they have helped create. It really was a huge honour and an experience that pupils won’t forget – thank you to the RHS for this incredible opportunity.

“Thank you also to Harry Holding, the brilliant designer who worked so hard to make our pupils’ ideas a reality and transform them into such a joyful and creative garden. Our pupils have absolutely loved working on this project and their garden is a reminder of just how enriching and important time spent in nature is. The garden will be relocated to the school in June, once the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has ended. We will have an official opening and then the children will be able to enjoy the garden and continue their outdoor learning.”

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