Bea sniffs out flowers: Svelte Princess totters along to the Chelsea Flower Show*MKILETEWA HAPA NA FLORA LYIMO DESIGNER*
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.
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.
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.
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.
'Joely, my darling second daughter, I thank you and the Harkness rose-breeders for making this happen with all my heart.'
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
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.
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.
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.
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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.
'When I was planning the garden I was under pressure and I was worrying about so many things in my life. By doing this garden I wanted to free myself as well.'
She added that she had no doubts about the validity of a garden based on a toilet at Chelsea, saying: 'I think gardens can contain any ideas, any places or any things from life.
'There's no limited number of topics you can make a garden from. Why not a toilet?'
Elsewhere, floral displays include the annual Florist of the Year competition in which entrants have designed floral jockey silks, while a £70,000, 11ft 6in high sculpture of a cypress tree covered in 23.5 carat gold dominates the grand pavilion of the show.