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Coronavirus forces world's greatest flower show to go digital

The world’s most prestigious horticultural event, the Chelsea Flower Show, has opened to the public - online.

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The show usually attracts hundreds of thousands of people, including royalty, but this year no one will be able to attend. Source: Breakfast

Held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital, the week-long show is the biggest event in the gardening calendar, attracting royals, celebrities and more than 150,000 members of the public. However, for the first time since World War II the physical event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. So organisers went digital.

"The gardening world has come together to bring garden design and plant inspiration, breathtaking displays and horticultural knowledge to millions of homes so we can continue to inspire everyone to grow," said Sue Biggs, Royal Horticultural Society's director general.

The move's received the royal seal of approval from the Queen, who has been the patron of the event since 1952. The 94-year-old monarch posted photos to social media along with her well wishes.

"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," Her Majesty said.

She added, "as you adapt to the present circumstances, I hope you find this unique event enjoyable and interesting".

Visitors can take behind the scenes virtual tours of award-winning nurseries and listen to planting advice from top garden designers.