Their Royal Highnesses met Loyd Grossman, Chairman and Andrew Scattergood, Chief Executive of The Royal Parks, the charity which manages London’s eight historic parks and other green spaces in the capital including Brompton Cemetery and Victoria Tower Gardens, covering 5,000 acres of green space and welcoming 77 million visitors each year.
Their Royal Highnesses visited the Hyde Park nursery which grows 450,000 plants and shrubs each year in almost 1000 varieties, for the bedding displays across the eight parks. The flowers grown include the scarlet pelargoniums which form the bedding displays in front of Buckingham Palace and which are grown to match the colour of the tunics of The Queen’s Guard.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall proceeded to meet and thank the grounds staff including, gardeners, cleaning staff, maintenance staff as well as apprentices and volunteers who have ensured that the Royal Parks have remained open throughout the pandemic.
Their Royal Highnesses met officers from the mounted branch of the Metropolitan Police – and The Duchess of Cornwall fed their two horses, Olive and Verity, a polo mint as a treat. Their Royal Highnesses were also invited to visit an electric Royal Parks’ ice cream van and The Duchess of Cornwall enjoyed an ice cream.
Loyd Grossman, Chairman of The Royal Parks, said: “We’re enormously honoured to welcome Their Royal Highnesses to Hyde Park and proud to celebrate with them the dedication, and hard work of all our staff, who have cared for these precious green spaces during these challenging times.
“The Royal Parks have been a lifeline to Londoners, particularly during lockdown, providing a refuge for locals to enjoy green space, a natural environment and to take in some fresh air, boosting mental and physical wellbeing.
“Over the past year we’ve welcomed greater numbers of visitors than ever before. With increased footfall there have been unprecedented challenges to keep the parks, clean, safe and beautiful for all.”
The Prince of Wales last visited Hyde Park Nursery in July 2017 when the Royal Parks charity was created.