Queen set to miss ‘unique event’ for the first time in 16 years

The Queen is at Balmoral and will reportedly not be able to attend

Queen Elizabeth II visits the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London
(Image credit: GEOFF PUGH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The Queen is reportedly set to miss a very “unique event” for the first time since 2005 as members of the Royal Family prepare to attend the occasion in her stead.  

  • The Queen is understood to be missing the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year for the first time in over a decade after the date was moved due to the pandemic. 
  • Her Majesty is a proud Patron of the Royal Horticultural Society and has previously revealed her love of visiting this “unique event”. 
  • This royal news comes as The Queen sends a private message of congratulations to North Korea

The Queen is said to be set to miss one of her favorite annual events, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, after the date was moved due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions. The historic flower show is traditionally held in May and it has long been popular with the Queen and Royal Family. In 2019, Kate Middleton designed her own 'Back to Nature' garden for the show and was pictured alongside Prince William as they brought their three children to enjoy it. 

While the Queen also admired her granddaughter-in-law’s work, it seems this year, the monarch will not be attending the show herself. 

According to The Telegraph, the Queen will be missing the 2021 flower show which will take place from September 21-September 26. Her Majesty is currently at Balmoral Castle in Scotland where she is enjoying time away from the royal spotlight during her annual summer break. 

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (R) shows Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, around the 'Back to Nature Garden' garden

(Image credit: GEOFF PUGH/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s not yet known when the Queen will be returning to either her London residence, Buckingham Palace, or her Berkshire home, Windsor Castle, after her trip. Though in previous years she has left her Aberdeenshire estate in October. 

This year will mark one of only a few times the monarch has missed the RHS Chelsea Flower Show throughout her reign, with the publication reporting that the most recent time was back in 2005 when she was on a royal visit to Canada. 

Instead, it’s claimed that two of the Queen’s children, Princess Anne and Prince Edward will be attending, along with Sophie, Countess of Wessex. The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra are also expected to visit. 

Queen Elizabeth II looks at a display of roses on the Peter Beale roses display at the Chelsea Flower Show 2018

(Image credit: Photo by Richard Pohle - WPA Pool / Getty Images)

Last year the RHS Chelsea Flower Show went ahead, albeit in virtual form, with the Queen issuing a heartfelt statement on the first day. Her Majesty declared, “On the occasion of the Opening of the Virtual Chelsea Flower Show 2020, I send my best wishes to all those associated with the Royal Horticultural Society.

"My family and I have always enjoyed visiting the Show, and I know that your Members and Supporters will be disappointed that they are unable to attend in person this year.

“As Patron of the Royal Horticultural Society, I was pleased to hear that you will be providing gardening advice and virtual sessions on your website, from Monday 18th to Saturday 23rd May."

Queen Elizabeth II on a tour of the Chelsea Flower Show

(Image credit: Photo by Graham Turner/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Her Majesty's message continued, “I am sure that my grandmother, Queen Mary, who first attended the Chelsea Flower Show in 1916, would be delighted that many people today have an enthusiasm for horticulture, and that gardening remains a popular pastime in the United Kingdom.

“As you adapt to the present circumstances, I hope you find this unique event enjoyable and interesting. ELIZABETH R.”

Whether or not the Queen does indeed miss the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this month, she will no doubt be just as delighted to hear of its return after the challenging past year.

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with five years experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, GoodToKnow and My Imperfect Life.


Before she joined Future Publishing, Emma graduated from the University of Warwick with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. After leaving education, she started out her publishing career in the world of books, working as a Publisher for an independent digital publisher specializing in back-list and debut commercial fiction novels. With a huge book list and a passion for bringing the best stories to the broadest audience possible, Emma filled her spare time with reading the latest best-sellers and catching up on hit adaptations.


In 2017 she joined TI Media as a fiction writing coordinator on Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Weekly Fiction as part of the features team. From here, she used her love of books, working to bring short stories to our dedicated readers and began writing for the books pages of Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman&Home, as well as online features ranging from genre round-ups to travel pieces for womanandhome.com. 


After honing her skills, Emma branched out online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first. When she’s not writing about the next big lifestyle trend, she enjoys cooking, long walks and watching as many crime dramas as she can!