Taiwan honors queen with new orchid

FIT FOR A QUEEN::Designers of the Taiwan pavilion went all-out for a display at the Chelsea Flower Show, flying in 100 kinds of orchids to celebrate the country’s centennial

Staff Writer, with CNA, LONDON

Wed, May 25, 2011 - Page 2

Besides an Olympic park, a cruiseliner, as well as countless city squares and schools, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II can now add another item that counts her as its namesake — an orchid.

At this year’s Chelsea Flower Show in London, Katharine Chang (張小月), Taiwan’s representative to the UK, presented the queen with Doritaenopsis Elizabeth II.

The new species was based on Doritaenopsis Sin-Yuan Golden Beauty and Pinlong Chris, a very popular type of orchid in Europe. The plant has the unique feature of producing many blossoms when in bloom.

FIRST OF ITS KIND

Taiwan developed the orchid in 2009 and registered it with the Royal Horticultural Society last month. The queen received the very first orchid of this new type. It will take two years before the flower can be mass-produced for her subjects to bring home.

This was the second time that Taiwan took part in the Chelsea Flower Show — one of the world’s most famous floral extravaganzas. Given that the Republic of China celebrates its centennial this year, organizers set up a tour de force display, and 100 different types of orchids were flown from Taiwan to Britain for the event.

The queen, who was quite impressed when she first visited Taiwan’s pavilion at the show last year, visited again in a tour arranged by the Royal Horticultural Society. She again praised Taiwan’s floral spectacle, where she stayed for five minutes.

PRESENTATION

Chang also presented a large pink butterfly orchid with 20 blossoms to the queen. The queen admired the orchid and asked how long the flowers could last.

Chang said it takes about five days for a flower to bloom, and three months for all 20 flowers to open — a substantial period of time.

She also told the queen the Taiwan pavilion was designed this year with the royal wedding as its theme. The decor aims to convey the sense of happiness, love, passion and completeness.

BEST WISHES

Chang also wished the Queen good fortune for her Diamond Jubilee next year, for the wedding of Prince William and for the economic prosperity of Great Britain.

As the visit progressed, more orchids exchanged hands.

Chang presented another pot of orchids, Chiada Lucia, to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and wife of Prince Charles.

Prince Albert II of Monaco also visited the pavilion, and Chang talked with him about Taiwan’s orchid industry. The prince seemed very taken with the variety of -colors in the flowers.

More than 650 exhibitors from 16 countries are taking part in the show at the Royal Hospital, which runs until Friday. Organizers have estimated that 170,000 visitors will turn up and tickets are already sold out.