Charles’ first change to late Queen’s estate since her death gets underway

The royals' picturesque Sandringham estate is under construction right now, with King Charles III's vision to transform one of the lawns into a "climate friendly" topiary garden in full swing.

It's a first major alteration to the historic grounds since the death of Queen Elizabeth II last September, with the patch of grass in question having previously been used to grow vegetables during World War II.

According to a statement on the estate's website, this change aims to create "joy for visitors and increase biodiversity" in an area that's recently suffered thanks to warm weather and heavy rainfall.

Diggers, landscapers and botanists will continue their work inside the formal gardens up until mid-May, with the King himself being coronated just a couple of weeks prior to their finish date.

The site to the west of Sandringham House was a parterre garden – that's a posh term for coloured gravels and symmetrical patterning with low-cut hedges – housing vegetables specifically for the 'Dig for Victory' campaign as the Allies bravely fought against the Axis.

Top soil and turf, which is to be removed when an acre of land is cleared, redeveloped and replanted, will get reworked into the topiary garden.

"In recent years, with changing weather patterns the current expanse of lawn has been affected by warm weather and excessive rainfall. The newly developed garden will introduce new species that are more robust, hardy and better able to withstand the impact of emerging weather patterns," the statement continued.

Changes include "increased naturalistic planting to the area to improve biodiversity", according to the official plans, while the design itself has been put together to provide seasonal colour from its many species of flower – creating a "rich source for pollinators and the provision of new habitats".

Just over 5,000 differently sized and shaped yew tree hedging plants will be used in the topiary, and approximately 4,280 herbaceous perennial plants and bulbs (including Veronicastrum, delphinium, phlox, echinacea and lavender) are to be thrown into the mix.

Yellow and pink rose, including varieties such as Gabriel Oak, Skylark and Charles Darwin, are also set to feature. A series of gravel and mazy paths, new plants, flowers and sloping banks are to be straightened during the revamp too.

In separate news, the 74 year old recently hosted Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy at Buckingham Palace.

Ahead of his royal rendezvous, Mr Zelenskyy told Westminster Hall: "It will be a truly special moment for me, for our country. In particular because I will convey to him from all the Ukrainians the words of gratitude for the support His Majesty showed to them when he was still the Prince of Wales.

"I also intend to tell him something I think that is very, very, very important, not only for the future of Ukraine but for the future of Europe.

"In Britain, the King is an air force pilot and in Ukraine today, every air force pilot is a king. God bless Great Britain and long live the King."


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