Horticultural firms to exhibit at Coronation Festival

Horticultural royal warrant holders to take part in festival marking 60th anniversary of coronation.

Palace gardens: summer venue - image: © HM Queen Elizabeth II
Palace gardens: summer venue - image: © HM Queen Elizabeth II

Several horticultural firms will be among royal warrant holders exhibiting at a Coronation Festival in Buckingham Palace gardens next summer.

Some 60,000 people are expected to visit the gardens to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Queen's coronation on 11-14 July 2013.

The horticultural businesses taking part - Barcham Trees, Bayer CropScience, Delamore Young Plants, G Burley & Sons, Gavin Jones, PHS Greenleaf, Taylors Bulbs, Suttons Seeds, Hillier and Vitax - all hold royal warrants of appointment: a mark of recognition to individuals or companies that have supplied goods or services to the households of the Queen, Prince Philip and HRH the Prince of Wales.

Tickets are £30 each. An evening ticket for 12-13 July, which will include a musical gala, will be £90. Tickets go on sale on 16 December.

Some 200 of the country's 800 warrant holders will exhibit under four product and service headings: homes & gardens, food & drink, design & technology, and style, pursuits & pastimes. Other firms involved include Jaguar, Bentley and Twining.

Grounds maintenance firm G Burley, which has worked at Windsor Castle for more than 30 years, will collaborate with Gavin Jones and Hillier on an exhibit. G Burley chief executive Giles Burley said a bespoke stand is planned. "The event is very high profile and we're inviting a lot of clients and potential clients," he said. "It's a once in a lifetime experience. The publicity will be great."

Suttons Seeds horticulture manager Tom Sharples said he could not turn down an invitation, but added that exhibiting would be a stretch because the festival clashes with the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

Suttons, which will have a small marquee stand, will develop themed products including a coronation seed tin for the event. "Visitors won't all be gardeners so it will be more a PR than a selling exercise," said Sharples.

The firms will pay an undisclosed amount to exhibit. Any profits will be shared between the royal household, the Royal Warrant Holders Association and Media 10, the events company helping to stage the fair. Buckingham Palace will use its share to fund apprenticeships.

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