Platinum jubilee trees to be planted across UK to honour late queen

Every county in the UK will receive at least one tree to create a 'living legacy' for Queen Elizabeth II

The Tree of Trees is lit during the BBC's platinum party in front of Buckingham Palace, London, in June. PA
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Hundreds of trees from the centrepiece of the platinum jubilee celebrations are to be planted across Britain in honour of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

The 21-metre Tree of Trees sculpture consisted of 350 saplings installed outside Buckingham Palace in June to mark the monarch’s seven decades on the throne.

The trees have been cared for over the summer by a Cambridgeshire tree nursery and will be sent across the country to be planted by an “inspiring” community organisation.

As part of the Queen’s Green Canopy, an initiative set up for the jubilee, every county in the UK will receive at least one tree.

“We are proud to unveil this nationwide network of organisations chosen to become custodians of these special trees in her majesty’s name,” said the initiative's chairman, Sir Nicholas Bacon.

“In recognition of the positive impact that they have on their communities, the groups chosen represent the very best of Britain.

“The trees will serve as an inspiration for tree planting within communities and to encourage care for the trees which already exist as part of our nation’s stunning landscape.”

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The scheme coincides with the planting season and will run from October to March, with the first tree being presented on Monday at the Royal Chelsea Hospital.

Twenty organisations from across the UK, including a Scottish food bank and Welsh anti-pollution group, will be given a sapling in a pot embossed with the queen’s cypher.

The planting spree is said to be part of the initiative's mission to create a “living legacy” for the queen, who planted 1,500 trees around the world before her death in September.

Meanwhile, Conservative Party members stood for a minute’s silence in her memory on the first day of the party’s conference.

UK Prime Minister Liz Truss and her Cabinet were on the front row of hall one at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre as members remained standing to sing the national anthem in praise of King Charles III.

Members stood and cheered as Ms Truss entered the hall at the start of proceedings, before welcoming remarks by the president of the National Conservative Convention, Fleur Butler.

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Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt paid tribute to the late queen, flanked by photographs.

“She saw us through change and challenge, constitutional crisis, conflict, Covid," Ms Mordaunt said.

“And every time we battled, we had Her Majesty alongside us, advising us, guiding us, unifying us all.”

Party members were shown a video montage of recollections of the queen from former Conservative prime ministers Sir John Major, David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson.

“I think her greatest legacy is demonstrating just what a brilliant model our constitutional monarchy is," Mr Cameron said.

“She was an extraordinary symbol of national unity. She brought the country together, but she also did so much to represent and symbolise Britain abroad.”

Ms May said: “One of the striking characteristics of her late majesty was her devotion to duty."

Mr Johnson said: “I think there has been no other monarch in our history who has [seen] such a phenomenal increase in the prosperity, in the opportunity, in the longevity, of the British people as she has in her reign.

"And for that reason alone I think that she should be recorded as Elizabeth the Great."

Updated: October 03, 2022, 12:21 AM