Florists 1,800 miles from London run out of flowers as they send 1.5m carnations
As hundreds of thousands of people line the streets of London to bid farewell to the Queen, the front gates of Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle are awash with flowers and messages of condolence to the Royal Family. So widespread has been the outpouring of emotion since Her Majesty's passing last week that flower producers are struggling to keep up with demand - and not just those close by. Flower exporters in southern Turkey have said they are running short on carnations after a sudden spike in exports to the UK left their fields bare.
Speaking to the country's Demiroren News Agency, Selcuk Celebi, a local official in the southern Turkish province of Antalya said the sudden uptick in demand has come just before the typical harvesting season in his city. READ MORE: Kate Middleton wears the Queen's brooch and Diana's earrings for Westminster serviceTurkish flower producers will ship more than 1.5 million flowers to be used in the funeral and mourning period of the Queen (Image: Getty Images)
He added that other producer cities, such as Isparta, are also struggling to meet the demand as they are near the end of their harvesting season. Although the gap in production leaves Turkish exporters unable to meet the full demand for carnations in the UK, Celebi asserted that Turkey is able to meet 'half of these orders'.
Saying he expects the demand to continue for at least a month, Celebi also said that carnations are now being sent from Turkey to the UK by plane. Normally, cargoes would be loaded onto trucks that would take seven to eight days to arrive. Another official, Ismail Yilmaz, said that normally Turkey would export 600,000 carnations to the UK at this time of year, but this year that figure is expected to swell to 1.5million.The rise in demand has prompted flower growers in southern Turkey to hire extra workers, extend working hours and switch from land transportation to air cargo to make sure the flowers arrive in time for the funeral (Image: Getty Images)
Yilmaz said: "There is a serious increase in demand from the UK.
We are giving weight to the production of carnations in our fields at the moment. We expect that this activity will continue for a while after the funeral and period of mourning." According to the news agency, flower growers in southern Turkey have also had to increase the size of their workforce by 50 percent to keep up with the demand.
Workers are also being asked to work an extra two hours a day, as well as working on Sundays for a period of two weeks. The Queen's funeral is set to take place on Monday September 19, which the government has announced will be a one-off Bank Holiday. Queen Elizabeth passed away at her residence in Balmoral, Scotland on Thursday, September 8, at the age of 96.
Having reigned for over 70 years, the Queen goes down in history as Britain's longest-reigning monarch. King Charles III took over as sovereign upon his mother's death, and has been leading the way in paying tribute to her legacy. Leave your tribute to the Queen in our book of condolences below, or click the link here.
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