Dame Deborah James and her husband Seb made a poignant secret trip to the Chelsea Flower Show earlier this week.
Last week it was revealed that proceeds from the Dame Deborah James Rose will go to her Bowelbabe Fund.
The JustGiving page currently has donations totalling over £6.5 million.
Deborah James and husband Seb visit Chelsea
The couple enjoyed an out-of-hours tour of the garden show.
Deborah arrived in a wheelchair, with doting husband Seb pushing his wife.
The couple were handed glasses of champagne and took a tour of the show with TV presenter Sophie Raworth.
Deborah posted a picture of her visit to Instagram.
She said: “Thank you to @sophieraworth for being my real-life fairy godmother and getting me to @the_rhs Chelsea Flower Show after hours to see my @theharknessrosecompany rose.
“To celebrate it and to see the gardens. You are incredble.
“And the whole thing brought a well-needed smile to my face.”
She also revealed: “And I wore the Chelsea dress I designed from my @inthestyle range for it!”
Deborah’s Chelsea visit ‘meant everything to her’
Sophie added: “A very special Tuesday night at Chelsea Flower Show. @bowelbabe didn’t think she’d be strong enough to make it but then made a last minute decision to come.
“She was determined to see her Dame Deborah James rose at Chelsea. And we had a wonderful after hours wander down Main Avenue too.
“I spoke to her a day later and she said the visit had meant everything to her.”
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Deborah James and husband Seb visit RHS Chelsea: ‘We had a little toast – it was brilliant’
The Harkness Rose Company has 25,000 of the plants available on pre-order for delivery this autumn, and said 15,000 have already been taken.
As a result it’s thought the rose will sell out in days.
Sophie took us on a tour of all the show gardens. Dame Deborah did not stay too long but it was brilliant.
Harkness’s Hannah Albone said of Deborah’s visit: “She was here on Tuesday night with her husband. She came to our stand and had a look at the rose.
“They got some champagne and we had a little toast. Then Sophie took us on a tour of all the show gardens. Dame Deborah did not stay too long but it was brilliant.”
She added: “Interest in the rose has been unbelievable. It is the fastest-selling rose in our 140-year history. We feel very privileged.”
‘Eloise might have it in her wedding bouquet’
Deborah shared details of the rose to Instagram last week.
She said: “Roses are my favourite flowers and I hope this one will brighten the smiles for all!”
Deborah also added that she hopes her daughter Eloise will one day carry the rose in her wedding bouquet.
“What breaks my heart and brings me the most beautiful thought, is that this variety will and can now be grown forever, and maybe one day even Eloise might choose to have it in her wedding bouquet,” she said.
You can donate to the Bowelbabe Fund here.
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