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Alexandra Rose Charities to celebrate centenary with London collections

The first Alexandra Rose Charity Rose Day. Image: Alexandra Rose Charity
The first Alexandra Rose Charity Rose Day. Image: Alexandra Rose Charity

Alexandra Rose Charities will celebrate its centenary on 21 June this year with a street collection in London involving up to 1,000 volunteers.

Events such as flash mobs, singing and busking will take place across the City of London to raise funds for charities supporting young people in the capital.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, is backing the day. Pledges to volunteer have come from City Hall’s Young Peoples’ Unit, colleges, universities, schools and choirs, as well as many individuals from across London and surrounding areas.

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The Prime Minister, David Cameron, will launch the annual Rose Day by buying the first rose on the steps of No 10 Downing Street.

History of Alexandra Rose Day

The first Alexandra Rose Day took place in June 1912. An army of titled ladies, friends of Queen Alexandra, went out into the streets of the City to sell little pink paper roses. By the end of the evening rush hour they had raised £30,000, about £3 million in today’s money.

Queen Alexandra came up with the idea on holiday in her native Denmark, where she noticed the pastor of a local church selling wild roses from his churchyard for church funds. She already supported a charity which employed flower sellers to make paper roses in the winter when there were no fresh flowers to sell. She therefore decided to get them to make roses and get her contacts to sell them to raise funds for the various charities of which she was patron.

WATCH: Queen Alexandra’s Rose Day in 1916


“First public charity flag day”

The charity claims that this was the birth of the modern charity industry.

“All the poppy days, lifeboat days and daffodil days are descended from this one royal initiative because no one had thought of doing this before”.

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