Queen Elizabeth’s star power was on display at the Chelsea Flower Show in London where she turned up in a luxurious, custom-made four-seater golf cart.
The 96-year-old monarch is the patron of the Royal Horticultural Society and has attended more than 50 of the world-famous flower shows in her 70-year reign.
Her appearance on Monday came without advance notice. As a result of her episodic mobility issues, the palace decides closer to the time of engagements whether the queen will be able to attend – so the fact Her Majesty arrived at the Chelsea Flower Show was cause for delight.
She was driven up in her £62 000 (R1,2-million) four-seater buggy that’s been nicknamed the Rolls-Royce of golf carts.
The state-of-the-art vehicle has a mini fridge, Bluetooth connectivity, 14-inch alloy wheels, a tablet-sized infotainment system and heated cup holders, among other features.
“Adjustments have been made for the queen’s comfort,” a spokesperson for the place says.
The queen's ongoing mobility issues are making her increasingly infrequent public appearances more and more special.
Her first public appearance was in February when she hosted a reception for members of community and volunteer groups at Sandringham House.
She contracted Covid-19 later that month and was not seen in public again until almost a month later, when she attended a memorial service for her late husband, Prince Philip.
Her Majesty did not attend the opening of parliament in May, an occasion she has missed only on two other occasions: in 1959 and 1963, when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward respectively.
On those occasions, the queen's speech was read by the Lord Chancellor. This year it was read by her heir, Prince Charles, who attended on her behalf.
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The queen was animated and bubbly when she attended the Royal Windsor Horse Show on 15 May. This was the first televised event of her platinum jubilee celebrations, and her guests included Tom Cruise and Helen Mirren.
Wearing a cheery sunshine-yellow dress, the queen made a surprise appearance a week later at the official opening of the Elizabeth Line, a new 118-km railway line in southeast England that links Essex in the east to Berkshire in the west, tunnelling underground through central London.
The Elizabeth Line, one of Europe’s biggest construction projects, will serve over 200 million commuters once it’s fully operational next year.
Her Majesty’s next appearance is expected to be on 2 June, the official start of the platinum jubilee celebrations.
Tens of thousands of spectators are expected to attend the event, which will feature a parade, more than 300 musicians. more than 1 000 soldiers, and, hopefully, a reunited royal family.
Sources: VanityFair, BBC, People, SkyNews, Daily Mail, Town and Country, New York Times, The Guardian