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The Prince of Wales announced as new royal Patron of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

26 July 2016


Today, The Prince of Wales becomes the Patron of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The announcement comes as the Royal Botanic Gardens celebrates the opening of the world's longest double herbaceous borders, the Great Broad Walk Borders.  

In a specially recorded message for Kew marking the launch of our new Great Broad Walk Borders this summer, His Royal Highness said: “I have always had the greatest affection and admiration for the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, so I could not be more proud and delighted to have been invited to become Patron of this great institution. Kew has had its roots planted deeply in British soil for more than 250 years, but has developed an international reputation as one of the world’s greatest botanic gardens, renowned for its scientific research and plant collections.”

The Prince of Wales shares Kew’s belief that a greater understanding of the world’s plants and fungi will help solve some of the most critical challenges facing humanity today. His Royal Highness’ Patronage will help Kew to inspire people around the world to unlock why plants and fungi matter for them.

Richard Deverell, Director of RBG Kew, said: “It is a truly great honour to welcome The Prince as our Patron and we look forward to sharing our many exciting plans for a future in which Kew plays a very central role in the conservation and sustainability of our precious planet. 

Coinciding with the announcement of the new patronage, Kew is celebrating the peak bloom of its beautiful new design feature, ‘The Great Broad Walk Borders’. These breathtaking displays, the world’s longest double herbaceous borders, sweep along 320 metres of Kew’s famous Broad Walk. The Broad Walk was originally landscaped in the 1840s by William Nesfield to heighten the drama of the approach to the newly-constructed Palm House (completed in 1848). Along both sides of the Broad Walk, Nesfield laid out an intricate embroidery of formal beds, which were designed to create a promenade of great horticultural beauty.

Commenting on the new Borders in his message, The Prince said:“The new Great Broad Walk Borders are a great way to celebrate the diversity of the plant kingdom in all its astonishing richness - particularly at a time when, as scientists at Kew have recently stressed, so many of the world's unique plants are under constant threat of extinction. I very much hope that the new borders will attract even more visitors and encourage them to learn about Kew’s exciting role at the heart of global efforts to unlock why plants matter.”

The 30,000 plants that make up the Borders have been arranged in a unique new design by Kew’s Richard Wilford. They aim to offer a bold diversity of textures and vibrant colours through the growing season, with a peak display this week lasting right through until September.

Richard Wilford, Manager of Garden Design, RBG Kew, said: “I have tried to respect William Nesfield’s original design intent, creating beds of horticultural splendour for our visitors. They bring swathes of summer colour into the most popular area of the Gardens and have different themes, with some grouped into plant families and others selected for their spectacular colour and form.”

ENDS

For more information contact the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Press Office on 020 8332 5607 or email pr@kew.org.

To view a video of The Prince of Wales's message on the new borders please visit www.kew.org

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding collections as well as its scientific expertise in plant diversity, conservation and sustainable development in the UK and around the world.

Kew Gardens is a major international and a top London visitor attraction. Kew’s 132 hectares of landscaped gardens, and Kew’s country estate, Wakehurst, attract over 1.5 million visits every year.

Kew was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2003 and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2009.  Wakehurst is home to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world.

Kew receives approximately just under half of its funding from Government through the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Further funding needed to support Kew’s vital work comes from donors, membership and commercial activity including ticket sales.