Read about a special display that has been produced for the Library Reading Room to celebrate Her Majesty's connections with Kew.
Historic Royal Connections
Kew’s royal connections extend back to the early 18th century when King George II and his son Prince Frederick began to develop two separate estates which were later joined to create the Royal Botanic Gardens we know today.
Kew and the Queen
Since her coronation, Her Majesty the Queen has visited the gardens on many occasions for both public and private events. She helped Kew to celebrate its bicentenary in 1959 by planting a walnut tree (Juglans regia), and Kew Palace hosted her 80th birthday celebration in 2006.
Queen Elizabeth celebrating Kew’s bicentenary in 1959
Her other visits have included opening the Queen’s Garden and a new Herbarium wing containing the Library in 1969. In 1982, she reopened the Temperate House, which had been under restoration for five years, and visited the Marianne North Gallery. In 2004, in recognition of Kew’s UNESCO World Heritage status, the Queen unveiled a plaque in the Nash Conservatory.
The Queen signing the Director’s Visitor Book in 1982
The Queen’s Beasts
Have you ever wondered why ten stone beasts stand guarding the Palm House? They are actually replicas of the heraldic figures representing the Queen’s ancestors which were placed outside Westminster Abbey on the day of her coronation. They help to reinforce Kew’s royal identity.
The Queen’s Beasts
So as part of your Jubilee celebrations, why not visit the Library Reading Room from the 31 May to learn more about the Queen’s relationship with Kew and to see some of the fascinating books, archives and illustrations that are on display.
- Deborah and Stephanie -
- Learn more about the Library, Art and Archive collections
- Find out about the Queen’s more recent visits to Kew
- Visit the official website of the British Monarchy
- Learn about Queen Victoria and her Diamond Jubilee
Kew's Library, Art and Archives contains many millions of items within its collections. Find out about the diverse teams who look after these collections and make them accessible.
- Archives team
- Directors' Correspondence Digitisation team
- Exhibitions & Galleries team
- Library Information Services team
- Preservation team
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