Tree planted in Royal Garden to commemorate International Year of the Nurse and Midwife

Lead Photo: Royal Collection Trust  ©Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II  2020 – Photographer: Philip Craven


Community nursing charity and National Garden Scheme founder, The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) has arranged for the planting of a magnificent Foxglove Tree, Paulownia tomentosa,  in Frogmore Gardens, part of the Windsor Castle estate.

The tree, given as a gift to the charity’s Patron, Her Majesty the Queen, commemorates the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife in 2020.

In recent years, Queen’s Nurses have gathered at Frogmore for the annual National Garden Scheme garden opening. Sadly, this year the garden was unable to open to the public but it is hoped that the tree will be viewable when the garden is next able to open for charity.

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, Chief Executive of the QNI commented, “I am delighted that we have been able to commemorate the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife with this symbolic tree in Her Majesty’s garden at Frogmore and I hope that in future years, Queen’s Nurses will be able to gather there and reflect on the proud heritage of the nursing profession and our unique relationships with the Royal Family and the National Garden Scheme.”

Heather Skinner, Berkshire County Organiser of the National Garden Scheme added, “Everyone in the National Garden Scheme is very proud that our charity was set up over 90 years ago to raise funds for the Queen’s Nursing Institute.  We were all looking forward to seeing the lovely Foxglove Tree that has been planted in the royal garden at Frogmore House and celebrating the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. Now more than ever we send our huge thanks to all Queen’s Nurses for the amazing work they do on the front line of community nursing.”

The plaque made for the tree reads:

Foxglove Tree (Pawlownia tomentosa)
A gift to Her Majesty the Queen
From the Queen’s Nursing Institute
In the Year of the Nurse and the
Midwife 2020


Royal connections

The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) was founded in 1887 with Queen Victoria as the charity’s first Patron. Her Majesty the Queen succeeded her mother as Patron of the charity in 2001. Queen’s Nurses have a long tradition of visiting Windsor and in 1896, Queen Victoria held a formal review of Queen’s Nurses from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales in the castle grounds. Frogmore Gardens open each year for the National Garden Scheme and continue to be the garden that has contributed the largest amount of money from all the thousands of gardens that have opened.

George Plumptre, Chief Executive of the National Garden Scheme, says, “Everyone at the National Garden Scheme is immensely grateful to Her Majesty The Queen for so generously continuing to give our charity an open day in the garden of Frogmore House. It is a highlight in our annual calendar when visitors are privileged to have rare access to this important and romantic landscape garden. We hope that in 2021 will once again be able to hold an open day that not only makes a major contribution to the funds we raise for our nursing and health beneficiaries but allows us to see this wonderful, commemorative tree in the company of Queens Nurses.”

The gardens at Sandringham in Norfolk also open for the National Garden Scheme and the charity’s own royal patron, HRH The Prince of Wales, has praised the importance of our championing of gardens and health (click here for more from HRH The Prince of Wales).

Discover more about the National Garden Scheme and the Queens Nursing Institute here


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