Prince Charles reveals 'frustration' at not being able to open gardens

Prince Charles says he’s ‘frustrated’ at not being able to open Highgrove’s grounds for tours to raise money for charity due to COVID-19 in a video message for the National Garden Scheme

  • Prince Charles, 71, revealed ‘frustration’ at not being able to open his gardens
  • Recorded a message at his Scottish home Birkhall for National Garden Scheme
  • The Prince of Wales highlighted the importance of gardening during lockdown 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The Prince of Wales has revealed his ‘frustration’ at not being able to open his gardens for charity due to the coronavirus pandemic as he highlighted the importance of gardening during lockdown. 

For the last 25 years, Prince Charles, 71, has offered tours of the beautiful grounds at his Highgrove House in Gloucestershire to members of the public.

The profits are given to several of his charitable causes but the gardens are now closed until at least the end of June.

Prince Charles spoke in a video message, filmed at his Scottish home Birkhall, highlighting the work of the nearly decades-old National Garden Scheme which raises funds for health and nursing charities.

The Prince of Wales (pictured in a video message) has revealed his ‘frustration’ at not being able to open his gardens for charity due to the coronavirus pandemic

The scheme, of which the royal is patron, has been forced to postpone plans to open 3,700 private gardens in England and Wales – which last year raised £4million in donations through sales of tickets and refreshments.

Prince Charles said: ‘For the first time in over 90 years, gardens are unable to open, and subsequently no funds are being raised for charity.

‘I must say that I can empathise with garden owners’ frustration about this because, like them, for the first time in 26 years, I too have been unable to open Highgrove Garden to visitors.

‘Of course, this is at a time when the nursing charities the National Garden Scheme supports are working heroically on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic, and need the financial support more than ever.’ 

For the last 25 years, Prince Charles, 71, has offered tours of the beautiful grounds at his Highgrove House (pictured) in Gloucestershire to members of the public

The profits are given to several of his charitable causes but the gardens (pictured) are now closed until at least the end of June

The charity was founded in 1927 to raise funds for community nurses and since that time has donated more than £60million. 

The coronavirus outbreak has meant visitors have only been able to tour gardens virtually, but the National Garden Scheme announced plans on Monday for some to reopen. 

Prince Charles added: ‘This link between gardens and our health has never been more relevant – especially as we endure the challenges of the confined circumstances in which we currently find ourselves, in many cases beset with anxiety and, I am afraid to say, often with personal tragedy.

Prince Charles (pictured is his gardens) spoke in a video message, filmed at his Scottish home Birkhall, highlighting the work of the nearly decades-old National Garden Scheme which raises funds for health and nursing charities

Prince Charles said: ‘For the first time in over 90 years, gardens are unable to open, and subsequently no funds are being raised for charity.’ Pictured: The royal’s gardens

‘During these times the beneficial effects of gardens and green spaces have never been more apparent.

‘The reassuring solace, peace and inspiration of a garden, whether it is your own or someone else’s, can now be found to a certain extent through digital means, thanks to this terrific scheme.’  

George Plumptre, chief executive officer of the National Garden Scheme, said: ‘His Royal Highness’s love of gardens is well known, inherited from his grandmother who he succeeded as our patron, and the various themes he articulates here so compellingly, from admiration for our charitable work, and emphasising the health benefits of gardens, will all strike a chord with our garden owners and supporters.’

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