Ahead of the ‘Together At Christmas’ carol service last week, The Princess of Wales planted a tree in Dean’s Yard at Westminster Abbey in memory of the late Queen.
Catherine was welcomed to the Abbey by the Dean, Dr David Hoyle, and members of the Chapter of Westminster. The Abbey’s Head Gardener, Jan Pancheri, and her colleagues Cormac Connolly and Danny Bitten, also met The Princess of Wales for the occasion.
The tree planted was a wild cherry tree (Prunus avium Plena) from the estate of the Duchy of Cornwall, which her husband, William, is now proprietor.
The new specimen replaced a horse chestnut tree in the square that was rotten and suffered with Summer Sudden Limb Drop, meaning it needed to be removed.
Catherine put the last spadefuls of soil on the tree and unveiled the a plaque which read:
This wild cherry tree,
a gift from the Duchy of Cornwall,
was dedicated in memory of
Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
by Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales
on 14th December 2022.
The tree formed part of The Queen’s Green Canopy, an initiative which aims to help mark the Platinum Jubilee of 2022, by planting a number of trees in Her Majesty’s name. Queen Elizabeth II was the first British monarch to achieve the milestone, having taken the throne in 1952.
The first ‘pin’ on the map is a Verdun Oak planted by The Queen and The Prince of Wales in the grounds of Windsor Great Park in 2021.
The initiative was due to conclude in December, the end of the Jubilee year, but because the official tree planting season in the UK is from October to March, the initiative has been extended to include the full tree planting season.
Westminster Abbey has a deep connection to the Royal Family. Consecrated by Edward the Confessor, and the location of every coronation since 1066, the Abbey is where the Queen was crowned in 1953 and also the location of her funeral in September 2022.
Coming up in May 2023 is King Charles III’s coronation, which will follow in the same tradition. Camilla will be crowned alongside her husband as Queen Consort. The coronation, Buckingham Palace shares, ‘will reflect the Monarch’s role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry’.
The then-Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding also took place at the Abbey in 2011.