Red tulips planted in the gardens in front of Buckingham Palace and expected to bloom in time for the Royal Wedding will be cut down after wilting in the hot weather.
The 28,000 flowers were planted last October but have blossomed too early.
Now staff from Royal Parks – the organisation that maintains all of the capital’s most famous parks – plan to chop the heads off the drooping tulips before the wedding, and say they cannot afford to replace them because of recent Government cuts.
The sight of the decapitated flowers in the Queen Victoria Memorial Gardens could be a major embarrassment as the eyes of the world will be on the Palace on Friday.
Recent spell of warm weather may have caused the tulips to bloom a little earlier than anticipated, but the wallflowers and forget-me-nots will continue to look beautiful throughout the spring.
"Thousands of people are expected to line the procession route near the Palace on the day of the wedding and we very much hope that they will enjoy the bedding displays.”
New bedding will be planted in June.
British Protected Ornamental Association treasurer Simon Davenport said: “We are reliably informed that red tulips in the Mall are losing petals due to the unseasonal hot weather and The Royal Parks fear that they will be largely gone before the wedding next week.
Royal Horticultural Society’s adviser, Guy Barter, said: ‘The problem with tulips is that they are a one-shot deal.
'Once they come out, that is that. In this weather their bloom will last only a couple of days and it could take only a week for all of their petals to be shed.
'Royal Parks has obviously given it its best shot, but even the best-laid plans can be thwarted by hot weather.’
Royal Parks, which is overseen by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, says its budget has been cut by 36 per cent this year.
A Royal Parks spokesman said: ‘The tulip blooms will indeed soon be over due to the unseasonably warm weather we are experiencing at present, and these will be removed before the end of the week. However, the tulips form only part of the bedding display.
flower is a famous feature of Flora Day which takes place each May in Helston. People travel from all over the world to see it.
Carol Symmons bunches the flowers, and says the royal order was quite specific.
"We had to have a special length for this order. We're very modern down here.
"We use a flower pot as a measurer, six to eight inches in length."
The Symmons family has been growing Lily in the Valley at their Cornish farm since 1940.
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