British Ambassador to the Netherlands names new tulip after King Charles III

King Charles III has been honoured with a new tulip named after him. The British Ambassador to the Netherlands, Ms Joanna Roper, and Keukenhof director Sandra Bechtholt joined forces on Thursday, 11 April, at Keukenhof to pour champagne over the new Tulipa ‘King Charles III’.

Commenting on the event, Ambassador Roper said, “It’s a privilege to officially name this tulip after His Majesty in commemoration of his Coronation last year. King Charles is known for his love of nature and the environment, so it seems pertinent that this quintessentially Dutch flower has been named in his honour. It is also testimony to the enduring bond between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, including between our own Royal Families.

“The UK and the Netherlands are both green-fingered nations; from Dutch tulipmania to the English landscape garden, both countries see horticulture and gardening as a way to bring us closer to nature. And no less than 80 per cent of the flowers the UK imports come from the Netherlands. We use flowers and gardening to celebrate milestones, like His Majesty’s Coronation; to remember and commemorate, in the UK, we use a poppy to remember those who have served their country, as well as for artistic expression, something that can be seen here at the Keukenhof, as well as at the Chelsea Flower show in London.”

Tulipa ‘King Charles III’ is a mutant from ‘Rejoyce’, which is, in turn, is a mutant of an original cultivar, ‘Lydia’. ‘King Charles III’ has the same bulb and plant structure as the popular garden and tub varieties ‘Lydia’ and ‘Rejoyce’ but comes in a different colour.

The first bulbs of the King Charles III tulip, suitable for planting directly in garden soil and balcony boxes and planters, will be available in the 2027/2028 season.

The King Charles III tulip will not only flower in Keukenhof—its blossoms can be seen in Britain, too. Through the Dutch Embassy in London, the special tulip bulbs were forwarded to Hertfordshire. Here, the King Charles III bulbs have been planted in the gardens of Longmeadow, Monty Don, and BBC’s Gardener’s World.

Ambassador Roper said: “Tulips are perhaps the most famous symbol of the Netherlands and to name this tulip after His Majesty King Charles III is a wonderful way to emphasise the close ties between the UK and the Netherlands. I look forward to seeing this tulip in bloom, both in my own garden and at the world-famous Keukenhof.”

The new tulip is a breed of Hybris, and it was highly honoured to receive permission to name a mutant of Tulipa Rejoyce after the latest British monarch.

In 1952, another royal tulip, Queen Elizabeth II, was registered with the Dutch General Bulb Growers’ Association (KAVB) by P. Nijssen and Sons. One of the Nijssen sons, P.J. Nijssen, became one of the founders of Hybris BV in 1979.

The Keukenhof spring gardens opened on 21 March 2024. This year, it is 75 years since the first of these flower exhibitions opened to the public.

The exhibition will last almost eight weeks, during which 1.4 million people worldwide will flock to this magical park because Keukenhof is the best place to see millions of tulips, daffodils, and other flowering bulbs in bloom.

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