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King tells of ‘reassuring presence’ of trees as fitting tribute to late Queen


he King has hailed the “extraordinary diversity and beauty” and “own enchanting character” of each of the ancient trees and woodlands dedicated to his late mother the Queen.

Charles, writing in the foreword for a new book entitled The Queen’s Green Canopy, pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, saying her “life touched countless people over many generations and across the world”.

He tells of how the “enduring and reassuring presence” of trees make them a fitting way to honour the nation’s longest reigning monarch.

The book, which will be published in June, features photographs, through the changing seasons, of the nationwide network of 70 age-old trees and 70 historic woodlands, which were dedicated to the monarch to mark her Platinum Jubilee.

The trees and woodlands form part of The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative which also saw more than a million new trees planted in the Queen’s name to celebrate her reign and create a lasting legacy.

A public exhibition of the book’s images by nature photographers Adrian Houston and Charles Sainsbury-Plaice is also taking place at Sotheby’s in London, beginning on Saturday and running until December 20.

Also on show will be drawings of the ancient canopy by artist Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis, whose detailed work has been brought together, folded concertina style into an intricate leporello book.

The King, patron of the QGC, writes: “These days there is, thankfully, a much greater awareness of the importance of trees and woodlands for the enormous benefits they bring us and our planet.

“Their enduring and reassuring presence has, I believe, made them a particularly appropriate way of commemorating the seventy-year reign of our late Queen, whose life touched countless people over many generations and across the world.”

He adds: “These trees and woodlands, many of an astonishing age, have their own enchanting character and history and are inseparable from our country’s culture.”

Charles outlined his hope that the new trees planted as part of the initiative would become the ancient woodlands of the future.

“In this book, the incredibly talented photographers, Adrian Houston and Charles Sainsbury-Plaice, have captured the extraordinary diversity and beauty of all the seventy ancient trees and seventy ancient woodlands,” he said.

In another foreword for the leporello, Charles described Aytoun-Ellis’s artwork as “unique” and “haunting”.

Among the ancients trees portrayed in the exhibition is Llangernyw Yew in Conwy, Wales – a living survivor from prehistoric times thought to be germinated in the Bronze Age, about 4,000 years ago.

The artwork in The Queen’s Green Canopy Ancient Woodlands and Trees exhibition at Sotheby’s in Bond Street, London, is for sale through The Tree Art Gallery, with a donation made in support of the QGC for each purchase.

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