The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is one of Britain’s most prestigious horticultural events at which visitors leisurely explore the designer gardens in the genteel grounds of a Royal palace.
However, this year, in an attempt to graphically highlight the horrors of the ivory trade, the Tusk Trust charity, of which the Duke of Cambridge is patron, is helping create a dramatic archway of 200 elephant tusks at the event in South-West London.
Visitors will be able to pass underneath a 164ft-long archway will run through a bleak, savannah-like landscape littered with elephant bones, including a skull riddled with bullet holes.
The tusks used to build the arch will be made from silicon, representing the 100 elephants that are, on average, killed by poachers every day in Africa.
Recordings of birds and rustling grass will help simulate the sounds of Africa, immersing visitors in an extraordinarily realistic re-creation of elephants’ natural habitat. There will also be a watering hole of the type elephants often use.
The Prince is a passionate campaigner against the ivory trade and with Tusk, is at the forefront of the campaign to bring it to an end.
Warning of the dangers of ivory poaching, the Duke recently said: ‘When I was born, there were one million elephants roaming Africa. By the time my daughter Charlotte was born, the numbers had crashed to just 350,000. And at the current pace of illegal poaching, when Charlotte turns 25, the African elephant will be gone from the wild.’