It had been hoped additional screening measures could be put in place in time for the horticultural event to be staged from May 18 to 23, but it will have to take place Sept. 21 to 26 instead, organizers say. In its 108-year history, the show has never been moved from its usual spring date.
The show will also have a much different focus and will centre on autumn gardening, such as "salvias, asters, dahlias, grasses, fruits and vegetables," the Royal Horticultural Society added.
"Whilst we are sad to have had to delay RHS Chelsea and are sorry for the disruption this will cause, we are excited that we are still planning to bring the world's best loved gardening event to the nation at a time when people are gardening more than ever," Royal Horticultural Society Director General Sue Biggs said in a statement.
"Never have so many people gardened in recent times, nor needed the benefits of gardening more, so we will do our utmost to deliver a beautiful, uplifting and different RHS Chelsea safely in September 2021."
The United Kingdom is currently battling a surge in COVID-19 cases due to a variant of the virus that is believed to be 50 to 70 per cent more transmissible, according to scientists. The country started vaccinating people in December, and while May is four months away, it may still not be possible to hold the event, which typically attracts nearly 150,000 people every year.
We last saw the royals at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2019, when Duchess Kate debuted her Back to Nature garden. The plot, which she designed, was intended to help children and families experience the benefits of the great outdoors on their mental health and well-being. The 2020 Chelsea Flower Show was an online event due to COVID-19.
Royals fans were also thrilled when video emerged of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis playing in the garden, with Prince William and Kate's eldest child saying he rated the space "20 out of 10."
The Queen, who was vaccinated against COVID-19 earlier this month, also typically attends Chelsea every year. The event also attracts other members of the Royal Family, such as Princess Beatrice, and prominent celebrities.