On Monday, Dame Judi Dench was in fine company with Prince Edward, Sophie Countess of Wessex and Princess Anne as they attended a preview of London's Chelsea Flower Show, the famous horticultural event that has long been attended by the royals.
While the Queen wasn't in attendance, she did have a garden exhibit at the show: The RHS Queen's Green Canopy Garden was created to highlight the importance of trees, woodlands, grasslands and meadows as vital wildlife habitat across the nation.
An ambassador for the garden, Dench marveled at the Queen's record-breaking reign, noting "how fantastic that she is going to have been on the throne for 70 years — that's never ever happened."
JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty
While admitting she's "not a gardener" per se, Dench told PEOPLE: "I love trees — they have always been one of my favorite things, if not my most favorite: trees and forests."
The Oscar winner, 86, says she hopes the monarch, 95, "gets a quiet time to come and have a little wander about" in her dedicated garden.
Designed by David Dodd, the garden features a canopy of 21 trees, 3,500 plants and includes hay bale sculptures to invoke thoughts of the countryside and the partnership between nature and agriculture.
We'd like to thank QGC Ambassador Dame Judi Dench for opening our garden with such style and inviting everyone to "Plant a Tree for the #Jubilee" 💐
Unveiled with the help of some brilliant #ChelseaPensioners, what a way to start the week! 🌳@RHChelsea @The_RHS #RHSChelsea pic.twitter.com/UzgYtgVBhP
— QueensGreenCanopy (@QGCanopy) September 20, 2021
It's hoped that the garden will inspire the public to join the Plant a Tree for the Jubilee campaign to celebrate the Queen's 70 years on the throne by carrying forward her legacy of sustainability.
"The Jubilee is an historic occasion," said QGC chair Sir Nicholas Bacon. "The Queen's Green Canopy is giving everyone the opportunity to celebrate this remarkable milestone by planting trees with care, at the right time of year, in the right place so they will thrive for generations to come."
The Earl and Countess of Wessex visit The Queen’s Green Canopy Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show 💐 pic.twitter.com/8P4ryePp78
— Lizzie Robinson (@LizzieITV) September 20, 2021
In March, the Queen, who is patron of the Royal Horticultural Society, and Prince Charles planted the first tree on the grounds of Windsor Castle, and Dench says she has also planted one at her home.
Monday's event was the first time the show has been held in the fall. Last year's show was canceled due to the pandemic, and this year's event was delayed from May for the same reason.
The royals have a long history of interest in the Chelsea Flower Show going as far back as 1916 when the Queen's grandmother Queen Mary first attended the event and as Patron of the Royal Horticultural Society
🌺 Members of the Royal Family have been attending #RHSChelsea for almost 100 years.
📸 King George V and Queen Mary in 1930.
📸 Her Majesty in 1971
📸 The Queen and The Prince of Wales in 2002
📸 The Queen with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2019 pic.twitter.com/kxPTVpdCHG
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 20, 2021
The Queen has attended many of the shows during her reign. Most recently, she attended in 2019 alongside her grandson Prince William and Kate Middleton who gave the Queen a tour of her own Back to Nature garden design, which she helped design to inspire children, families and communities to enjoy the great outdoors.