After 73 years by the side of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip passed away last Friday, April 9th. Throughout his 99-year life, the Duke of Edinburgh created a lasting legacy in the Royal gardens of his beautiful estates across the UK – breaking national gardening records at Sandringham, becoming ‘master of the barbecue’ at Balmoral, and landscaping Windsor gardens.
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The Duke was never shy of his green-fingered habits and had even vocalized his love for gardening in a letter to celebrity English gardener Alan Titchmarsh, The Express (opens in new tab) recently shared.
From the famous evergreen lawns of Sandringham to the verdant grounds of his beloved Scottish summer home – these are some Royal gardens permanently shaped by Prince Phillip.
Sandringham Estate gardens
Admirers of the Royal family may already recognize Sandringham as the home where Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh usually spent Christmas. However, the 20,000 acre Norfolk estate was also the setting of a record-breaking horticultural achievement for Prince Philip.
According to The Times (opens in new tab), he first attempted to grow black truffles in the garden in 2006, when he planted ‘300 £15 saplings’ in the grounds. After persevering for 12 years, and seeking help from truffle experts in Italy, the Duke ‘became the first person in Britain’ to achieve a fruitful Funghi harvest.
The Royal garden at Balmoral Castle
While Sandringham acted as the backdrop to many Christmas celebrations, Balmoral was the setting for many royal family summer vacations. The Gothic Revival castle on the fringe of Loch Muick in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, was the setting of Prince Phillip’s kitchen garden and vegetable patch, and water garden, and a floral walkway that he planted many years ago. The Duke also designed a water garden among its sprawling 50,000 acres of surrounding land.
Since this was Prince Philip’s summer home, it is unsurprising that the Duke would spend his evenings cooking on the BBQ in Balmoral’s gardens. In an interview with MarieClaire, Darren McGrady, who worked for the Royal family throughout the ‘80s and early ‘90s, shared that ‘Philip would cookout on the grill’ while the Queen picked strawberries with Princess Margaret. Following his death, Prince Harry also remembered his grandad’s barbecue skills, sharing:
‘But to me, like many of you who have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ‘til the end.’
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Windsor Castle gardens
Many of us sought solace in our gardens throughout the pandemic, and Prince Philip was certainly no exception. During the first four months of lockdown, the Duke returned to Windsor, to the gardens he designed in 1971. Prince Philip made his mark on the imperial estate over the ‘70s when he contributed to the landscaped garden redesign – planting over 3,500 rose bushes and adding a statement bronze water feature.
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Prince Phillip’s funeral will take place at Windsor Castle tomorrow, April 17th, at 15:00 BST. His memory and legacy will continue to bloom in the Royal gardens he shaped throughout his life for many centuries to come.