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Prince Charles kisses Queen Elizabeth’s hand during the Chelsea Flower Show in London on May 18, 2009.

The Chelsea Flower Show in London was the scene not only of fabulous flowers and gorgeous gardening exhibits today, May 18, 2009. During an advance visit, Prince Charles received the Royal Horticultural Society’s highest honor for his passion and commitment to gardening.

Queen Elizabeth presented the Victoria Medal of Honour to her son during the royal preview for the show, which opens tomorrow, May 19. The award cited the Prince of Wales for his “passion for plants, sustainable gardening and the environment”. There is only one other royal  who has received the medal. Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, was awarded in 1961.

More photos below:

Prince Charles was also honored indirectly through a rose that was developed specifically for him. Sales from the new rose, called ‘Highgrove’ after the prince’s estate, will benefit the Prince’s Charities Foundation.

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Also present during the visit were Prince Philip, Camilla, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex. Queen Elizabeth is patron of the Royal Horticultural Society. This year’s flower show features many exhibits that are in tune with the economic downturn. Credit crunch and low-maintenance gardens are among the features that the sold-out crowd will enjoy from May 19-23.

Images: Newscom; via Telegraph