Celebration of Two Queens: A Tale of Queen Elizabeth II’s Sapphire Anniversary and Vanda Miss Joaquim, Singapore’s National flower

Date : Monday, 1 October 2018 to Friday, 28 June 2019

Time : 9am to 5pm, weekdays only. Closed on weekends and public holidays.

Venue : Library of Botany and Horticulture, Level 1 of Botany Centre (Nearest entrance: Tanglin Gate)



This year, 2018, sees two historical anniversaries being celebrated across two countries. One is the 125th anniversary of Vanda Miss Joaquim (VMJ), an orchid hybrid described and named by Mr. Henry Ridley, first Director of Singapore Botanic Gardens, and the other is the 65th coronation anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II on 2nd June 1953.

VMJ is arguably Singapore’s most recognisable icon and has been Singapore’s Paper Ambassador since 1962 and is our National Flower since 1981. Specially curated artworks and documents are on display to trace how the flower first gained international attention. 

This  exhibition also highlights the events that shaped the destiny of Queen Elizabeth II and her early links to Singapore. It documents her early life, her wedding and the meticulous planning that went into her coronation as the Queen of the United Kingdom. Special memorabilia such as the coronation map, booklets and original medals will be on display. 

This exhibition is made possible with support from Mr Y. H. Hsien, a serious collector with an avid interest in Singapore’s social history. 


About the Collector

Mr Y. H. Hsien has been collecting stamps and artefacts relating to the social and corporate histories of the region for over 30 years. Until 2010, he worked for an offshore logistics business.

He is a Council member of the Singapore Stamp Club and an active volunteer at the National Library, National Archives and the Singapore Philatelic Museum. He has also participated in public exhibitions held in Singapore and overseas. His past exhibits were on HSBC’s 150th anniversary, Singapore Airlines and POSB, among others.

Many artefacts displayed in the showcases here are exhibited for the very first time. Singapore Botanic Gardens Library is proud to present them in collaboration with Mr Y. H. Hsien. This is the second collaboration between Mr Hsien and SBG, the first being on "Ridley and The Rubber Industry"  in 2016.


We welcome your feedback if you have visited the Library or Exhibition and would like to leave a comment or suggestion at the Library counter. Visitors who submit a feedback regarding the exhibition/library will receive a limited edition VMJ folder, while stock lasts.

This exhibition will run from 1 October 2018 to 28 June 2019, Mondays to Fridays, 9am to 5pm. Closed on weekends and public holidays.

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