Queen's visit celebrates Kew's 250th anniversary
Press release, 22 April 2009
The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, will visit the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to mark the 250th anniversary.
The visit will take place on Tuesday 5 May and the Royal Party will be welcomed by Kew staff and taken on a tour of the world-famous botanic garden, a UNESCO World Heritage site and world-leader in plant-related collections, scientific research and international conservation.
The Royal Party will visit the Banking on Life exhibition in the Nash Conservatory, a celebration of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership, one of the most ambitious conservation programmes in the world, which will have conserved 10% of the world’s wild plant species by the end of 2009.
To commemorate Kew’s 250th Anniversary, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will plant two trees. The Queen will plant a ginkgo, an ancient group known in the fossil record for 170 million years and now found only in a small area of central China. The Duke of Edinburgh will plant a Wollemi pine, also known from fossil records and thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in Australia in 1994 and now part of an international conservation programme.
The Royal Party will be shown a timeline charting the history of Kew Gardens since 1759 before cutting a celebratory cake designed in the shape of the iconic Palm House and receiving a gift of a new rose ‘Kew Gardens’ before their departure.
A year-long programme of events and activities will celebrate the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew’s pivotal role as a world-leader in plant science and conservation, now and for the next 250 years. “Our 250th year is a unique chance for us to share Kew’s remarkable heritage and the important contribution we are making to plant conservation,” said Stephen Hopper, Director of RBG Kew. “The Gardens will be looking spectacular – there has been no better time to visit.”
For further information on Kew’s 250th anniversary summer events and activities, including details of a special BBC 2 programme, Cruickshank on Kew: The Garden That Changed the World, please see http://www.kew.org/press/summer2009.html.
Notes to Editors
- For further information about the Royal visit to Kew Gardens, please contact Anna Quenby, Head of Corporate Communications and Public Relations, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Telephone 020 8332 5619, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For Rota Arrangements for Royal Visits, please contact the Buckingham Palace Press Office - Meryl Keeling, 020 7024 4217 / Jen Stebbing: 020 7024 4353
- For further information about Kew’s 250th anniversary, please contact Bryony Phillips and Bronwyn Friedlander in the RBG Kew Press Office. Telephone 020 8332 5607. Email email@example.com.
- Images are available at www.kew.org/press/images. Please contact the press office for username and password.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
In 1759 Princess Augusta, mother of King George III, started an ambitious nine-acre garden around Kew Palace. Every generation has added to the charms and curiosities of Kew, now a major international visitor attraction with its 132 hectares of landscaped gardens attracting over one million visitors per year. Kew is a UNESCO-inscribed World Heritage Site and houses over 40 listed buildings and other structures including the Palm House, Temperate House, Orangery and Pagoda as well as two ancient monuments, Queen Charlotte's Cottage and Kew Palace.
RBG Kew is a world famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding living collection of plants and world-class herbarium as well as its scientific expertise in plant diversity, conservation and sustainable development in the UK and around the world.
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