4 May 2023

Plan the perfect Coronation weekend

Join us at Kew Gardens and Wakehurst to mark the Coronation of our Patron, His Majesty King Charles III.

His Majesty King Charles III in conversation with a group of Kew representatives

Looking for an unforgettable way to celebrate this Coronation weekend?

Enjoy a picnic with loved ones, discover more about Kew’s royal history, or take in our world-record breaking plant collection in full bloom – there's plenty to do this bank holiday weekend at Kew Gardens and Wakehurst.

Visit one of His Majesty's favourite spots at Kew

His Majesty King Charles III has been a Patron of Kew since 2016, championing our international reputation as one of the world’s greatest botanic gardens and pioneering scientific research institutions.

During a visit to Kew in 2017, His Majesty was particularly impressed by the newly opened Great Broad Walk Borders at Kew which “....are a great way to celebrate the diversity of the plant kingdom in all its astonishing richness - particularly at a time when... so many of the world's unique plants are under constant threat of extinction.

This year, the Great Broad Walk Borders have been extended to include beds dedicated to drought-tolerant planting as part of our commitment to future-proofing the gardens.

His Majesty has since visited Kew and Wakehurst on several occasions and is a powerful champion for plants and fungi.

We thank His Majesty King Charles III for his continued support and for his lifelong love of nature.

His Majesty King Charles III in conversation with a Kew representatives
His Majesty King Charles III visit to Kew Gardens in 2017 © RBG Kew
Late summer in the Great Board Walk Borders at Kew
Great Broad Walk Borders, Richard Wilford © RBG Kew

Discover Kew’s royal history

Kew Gardens was founded in 1759 by Princess Augusta, mother of King George III. At the beginning, it was a nine-acre botanic garden within the pleasure grounds at Kew.

In 1802, King George III united the Richmond and Kew estates, expanding the Gardens and introducing Kew Palace* within the grounds. In 1840, Kew Gardens officially became a national botanical garden.

Alongside Kew Palace sits the majestic Queen’s Garden, dedicated exclusively to the plants and architectural styles of the 17th century. Home to the oldest sculptures at Kew, the Queen’s Garden is planted with a range of medicinal herbs and plants. In May, it comes to life with a spectacular archway of golden yellow laburnum.

Other royal spots to explore at Kew Gardens this summer include the Princess of Wales Conservatory (named after Princess Augusta), Elizabeth Gate and Queen Charlotte’s Cottage*.

Queen Charlotte’s Cottage was the garden retreat of Queen Charlotte and King George III. It is located within the tranquil surroundings of the Natural Area donated to Kew by Queen Victoria. This secluded spot is home to tall grasses, wildflowers, butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies and offers a scenic adventure away from the beaten track.

During your visit, don't miss the incredible Victoria boliviana waterlily in the Princess of Wales Conservatory and Waterlily House, which was named after Queen Victoria and officially recognised as the largest waterlily species in the world in 2022.

Enjoy a picnic surrounded by nature

Kew Gardens offers an array of picturesque picnic spots, perfect for enjoying a celebratory afternoon tea, coronation chicken sandwiches or slice of Victoria sponge cake.

Cedar Vista offers stunning views of the Great Pagoda*, completed in 1762 as a gift for Princess Augusta and restored in 2018.

Elsewhere, the Rose Garden offers magnificent views of the Palm House – the first glasshouse in the world built to this scale 175 years ago.

The magnificent Arboretum, home to over 12,000 trees, offers the perfect shaded spots for picnicking.

After lunch, soak up the early summer sun and explore hidden gems like the Mediterranean Garden and iconic buildings including the Temperate House – the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse, which is home to 10,000 of the world’s rarest plants.

At Wakehurst, enjoy a picnic overlooking reflections on Mansion Pond or venture further afield and find a sheltered spot in the wild woodlands under the branches of delicate British birches or dramatic North American redwoods

A family having a picnic outdoors
A family picnic © RBG Kew

Wander through Wakehurst

Coronation Meadow at Wakehurst was created in 2015 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. This May, Coronation Meadow will reopen to mark the Coronation weekend.

This undulating landscape of British native flowers and grasses boasts sensational views of the Sussex High Weald, and was praised during a visit from King Charles III in 2019.

There will also be a whole host of new family activities at Wakehurst to mark the Coronation. New trails and children’s play areas have been designed to inspire a passion for the environment, a cause long supported by His Majesty.

Brand-new to Wakehurst is Wild Wood, a bespoke sculpture trail opening on 6 May 2023. Located in the heart of Pearcelands Wood, a beautiful 20 acre ancient woodland, the trail of 20 woven structures hand-crafted by Wakehurst staff and local artists will form an inspiring natural gallery.

Don't miss Tree Trunk Trek, reopening for Coronation weekend with a whole new look!

His Majesty King Charles III walking through Wakehurst's Coronation Meadow
His Majesty King Charles III on a visit to Wakehurst's Coronation Meadow, Jim Holden © RBG Kew
A trio of deer sculptures made from willow
Wild Wood at Wakehurst, Jim Holden © RBG Kew

Read & watch

*Kew Palace, the Great Pagoda and Queen Charlotte’s Cottage will be closed to the public on Saturday 6 May 2023 in line with the closures across London of all Historic Royal Palace buildings for Coronation Day. They can still be visited on other days this bank holiday and appreciated from outside in the landscape.