The 45ft-high glass building in central London will be known as the Queen’s Commonwealth Conservatory and will be filled with plants from the 52 Commonwealth nations.
Dench, who will be patron of the project, is a keen horticulturalist. The actress, who once revealed she plants a tree in her garden whenever a friend or relative dies, is renowned for her portrayal of monarchs.
She won an Oscar for her role as Elizabeth I in the film Shakespeare in Love and was nominated for her performance as Queen Victoria in Mrs Brown. She will reprise that part in the upcoming Victoria & Abdul.
A charitable foundation has been established to raise the estimated £40m required for the project, which it is hoped will be met from public and private donations.
If approved, the conservatory would open in 2026, marking the Queen’s 100th birthday.
It would stand on the site in London’s Regent’s Park of the former Winter Garden, which opened in 1846 and was demolished in 1932.
It is hoped the building, which will include a lecture theatre, library, gallery and cafe, will become a tourist attraction and legacy of the Queen’s record-breaking reign.
In September 2015 she became Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, surpassing Victoria.
In February the Queen celebrated her sapphire jubilee, marking 65 years on the throne.
She is now the world’s longest-reigning living monarch.
The project’s founder, Mark Evans, who is managing director of Bentley & Skinner, jeweller to the royal family, said the conservatory would be “a wonderful legacy and happy monument”.
The Prince of Wales has also been approached as a potential patron, together with Baroness Scotland, secretary-general of the Commonwealth, and the celebrity gardeners Alan Titchmarsh and Monty Don.
Clarence House said: “The request for the Prince of Wales’s patronage has been received for consideration.”
Since the Commonwealth Institute in London closed to the public in 2002 there has been no permanent building in the UK dedicated to the Commonwealth.
Source: The Times