Members of the British royal family have a long history of lending their names to flowers. Beginning in the 18th century with Queen Victoria, whose eponymous flower is the Queen Victoria Lobelia, everyone from Queen Elizabeth to Princess Diana to little Princess Charlotte has at least one namesake bloom. Last week, Prince Philip joined this tradition, with a newly bred rose named in his honor.
The rose made its debut ahead of what would have been the late Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday — he was born on June 10, 1921. Queen Elizabeth, Patron of the Royal Horticultural Society, was given the deep pink commemorative rose in honor of her husband.
The new rose, created by British rose breeder Harkness Roses, has since been planted in the mixed rose border of Windsor Castle’s East Terrace Garden. This location is particularly meaningful as, during his lifetime, Prince Philip played a major role in the garden’s design. He both restructured the flowerbeds and commissioned a bronze lotus fountain, which currently sits at the garden’s center. Adding greater meaning to the new rose is its charitable component: Royalties from each sale of the plant will benefit The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Living Legacy Fund, giving more young people the opportunity to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award. The award funds various organizations and enrichment programs for young people across 130 countries.
“Whilst being very poignant, it was also a delight to give Her Majesty The Queen, Patron of the Royal Horticultural Society, the Duke of Edinburgh Rose to mark what would have been HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday and to remember his remarkable life,” said Keith Weed, President of the Royal Horticultural Society in a statement. “The Duke’s devotion to raising public awareness of the importance of conserving the natural world leaves a lasting legacy.”
The flower, which is now available for sale, is a dark magenta, dappled with white flecks. According to the DofE award website, the rose is “a shrub of medium size with a delicate fragrance, suitable for rose beds or in combination with other perennials.”
The Duke of Edinburgh rose is available for purchase here, but only appears to be available to ship within the UK.
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