Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bea sniffs out flowers: Svelte Princess totters along to the Chelsea Flower Show

By Maysa Rawi, Rebecca English and Paul Harris

Upturn in fashion: After her fashion disaster at the Royal Wedding, Princess Beatrice looked svelte in a crimson Roland Mouret dress when she arrived at the Chelsea Flower Show with her father

At the royal wedding last month, Princess Beatrice’s bizarre, pretzel-shaped hat attracted attention for all the wrong reasons.

But at the Chelsea Flower Show yesterday, a svelte-looking Beatrice received far more admiring glances.

The 22-year-old – who was attending the star-studded preview show with her father the Duke of York and her grandmother the Queen – shone in a figure-hugging crimson Roland Mouret dress, teamed with vertiginous nude heels.

And this time, it was the Queen whose headgear was the main topic of conversation.

Pragmatic: The Queen opted to wear this hairnet which had been 'jazzed up' with small black bows due to the windy conditions

The 85-year-old appeared at the Royal Horticultural Society’s flagship event in what appeared to be a ‘jazzed up’ hairnet dotted with small, black bows.

It is understood the net was designed by her in-house team at Buckingham Palace led by the Queen’s dresser Angela Kelly.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman added: ‘It wasn’t a fascinator. It was definitely a net. I think it was a pragmatic choice as it was fairly windy down there.’

The royals were joined at the show – which opens to the public today – by a host of celebrities, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Vanessa Redgrave, Ringo Starr and Jerry Hall.

Dame Helen Mirren was also in attendance to give her name to a new plant in aid of charity. The Nepenthes Helen is a carnivorous jungle plant that eats rats.

Helen looked ravishing in red in a paint-splash effect prom-dress and matching coat. She popped a pair of nude heels on for the shoot and swapped them for comfortable flats to take in the show.

Gwyneth went for a more casual look - but kept her wedges on - in khaki chinos and white blazer.

The blonde was busy promoting new cookery book 'Notes From My Kitchen Table' at B&Q's show garden.

The collaboration focused on 'growing your own' food and Gwyneth fittingly posed in front of the tallest structure ever at Chelsea - a glass tower block-like building complete with window boxes full of vegetables.

Wild side: Helen Mirren celebrates the launch of the 'Helen' carnivorous plant at the Chelsea Flower Show today

Lady in red: Helen swapped her comfortable flats for a pair of nude heels

Casual chic: Gwyneth promotes her cookbook at the B&Q garden

Green fingers: The actress posed in front of the tallest structure every built at Chelsea - a tower of window boxes full of vegetables designed to promote growing your own food

Veteran actress Vanessa Redrave attended the event with her daughter Joely Richardson, who organised the launch of a rose named after her late sister Natasha.

The UK-grown rose, which will be sold exclusively at Dobbies Garden Centres around the UK, aims to raise £10,000 for Make-A-Wish Foundation UK, the charity which grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening illnesses.

Entertainment: fuse play at the Chelsea Flower show today

In loving memory: Vanessa Redgrave and daughter Joely Richardson launch the 'Natasha' rose named after the late actress

Touching tribute: The rose will be on sale at Dobbies Garden Centres and will hope to raise £10,000 for charity

The actress passed away in 2009 after a skiing accident.

Her mother Vanessa said: 'Natasha's family, her husband and her boys, are so happy that the Natasha Richardson rose will be on view to rose lovers at Chelsea Flower Show from today.

Model behaviour: Jerry Hall, left, and Tara Palker Tomkinson bring a touch of chic to the show

Choo much: Shoe designer Jimmy Choo and deputy PM's wife Miriam Gonzalez Durantez

'I share their happiness as Tasha's mother. Tasha was born in the merry month of May, and every rose you buy will help bring joy to a child through Make-A-Wish.

'Joely, my darling second daughter, I thank you and the Harkness rose-breeders for making this happen with all my heart.'

Sitting pretty: Presenters Nell McAndrew and newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky take in the sun

Flower power: Lorraine Kelly and Kirstie Allsopp are all smiles in bright colours

Joely added: 'Natasha was a keen gardener and would be honoured to have a rose created in her memory. Pink was her favourite colour and so we chose this particular rose which is incredibly feminine and joyous, it captures her extreme vitality.'

The first floating garden was also on display - the 52ft 6in (16m) long hanging garden pod was raised and lowered 82ft (25m) on an enormous crane at the centre of Failte Ireland's 'Irish sky garden'.

It is inspired by Dublin animator Richie Baneham who created the visual effects work in Avatar and by the concept of Restaurant in the Sky where people dine sitting around a table hanging from the arm of a crane

Champagne lifestyle: The Laurent Perrier garden competes for top spot

Surreal: The Hae-woo-so garden, which is the Korean word for a traditional toilet, features an out-house

Today will also see designer Shane Connolly, whose floral displays for the royal wedding included a series of trees in Westminster Abbey, demonstrating how plants can be used on different occasions.

The flower show sold out in record time this year, as the UK's love affair with gardening shows no sign of dimming.

But the unseasonably warm weather has presented some creators - like many gardeners across the country - with a challenge as they make their designs a reality.

Royal bloom: A sweetpea and rose are named after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

After a weekend putting finishing touches on the gardens, some of which had last-minute design tweaks with changes to planting as planned blooms flowered too early, the exhibitors were being judged this morning.

The exhibits range from a modern take on a kitchen garden, a plot with the largest trees ever to be brought in to Chelsea framing a working water mill, to gardens which evoke 1940s Wales or renewable power and even a Korean entry which makes a toilet the central feature.

It may seem unusual, but the traditional Korean belief that emptying your body also means cleansing your mind has led to it becoming the centrepiece.

Hanging garden of Chelsea: The Irish Sky Garden is a 52ft 6in (16m) long hanging garden pod inspired by the animated 3D film Avatar

Fit for a prince: Albert of Monaco visits the Monaco Garden, perfect for the jet set

People thought for centuries that going to the toilet was a cathartic experience, and considered it to be highly spiritual.

That has inspired the Hae-woo-so garden which is the Korean word for a traditional toilet.

In Korea, it used to be normal for the toilet to be located in the backyard, far from the house, so the garden has an untouched appearance with wildflowers dominating.

Inspiration: Barbara Windsor, left, and Nancy Del Olio seek ideas for their gardens

Even the pathway to the toilet is significant, as the process of emptying your mind starts with the walk through the centre of the peaceful garden.

Jihae Hwang, who is believed to be the first South Korean garden designer to exhibit at Chelsea, described the gardens as a personal quest for relaxation.

She said: 'I wanted the audience to feel that they are stress free and when they see the garden they want to empty their minds of worries.

New breed: The the 'Churchill' rose and 'Celebration' clematis were launched today


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