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It was already well publicised that the new Duchess of Sussex is a lover of flowers, not to mention there were to be numerous floral tributes paid to the late Princess Diana – another lover of flowers – so there were no surprises by the number of beautiful and symbolic blooms that made the day all the more magical. There were also a few surprises to be found throughout the day too, where the creative use of flowers really made the difference.
Join us as we take a look back at all the key facts about the royal wedding flowers that made May 19th 2018 an occasion to remember in Windsor.
What flowers were in Meghan’s bridal bouquet
The bridal bouquet that Meghan carried into St George’s Chapel on Saturday was a simple arrangement reflecting the classic, traditional style of the day and complimenting the dress designed by Clare Waight Keller. As reported by the official website of the Royal Family, the veil of the dress itself contained a floral design reflecting a flower from all of the 53 commonwealth countries (of which Queen Elizabeth II is the organisational head).
The bridal bouquet however, was a much more focused affair. It was combined white variants of seasonal spring flowers such as forget-me-nots and, as reported by the official website to the Royal Family, also featured, “sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine and astrantia, and sprigs of myrtle, all bound with a naturally dyed, raw silk ribbon”.
What flowers adorned the Chapel?
For an event as big as this, it comes as no surprise that the floral designs were big, bold and extravagant.
The key flowers in the designs that decorated St George’s Chapel were peonies, white garden roses and foxgloves. These three flowers had been reported in the run up to the wedding as being among the key choices for the wedding flowers, with peonies being favourites of Meghan herself and garden roses being favourites of the late Princess Diana, the mother of the groom.
To add the greenery, beech, birch and hornbeam branches were added and shaped to fit the doorways and arches of the medieval gothic chapel and were used as a base frame for the rest of the floral decorations.
The wedding cake is to be served at the Reception. It was designed by Claire Ptak and features elderflower syrup made at The Queen’s residence in Sandringham from the estate’s own elderflower trees, as well as a light sponge cake uniquely formulated for the couple. #royalwedding pic.twitter.com/kt5lE4tEn9
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 19, 2018
It’s also worth noting that the wedding cake on the couple’s big day featured a floral design and taste. It was designed by Claire Ptak and was flavoured with a syrup made of elderflowers from the trees on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate. As if that wasn’t enough the cake was also decorated with 150 fresh flowers.
Who made the floral designs for Harry and Meghan’s wedding?
The designs were created by Fulham-based florist Phillipa Craddock and her team. She made great use of local springtime flora that is primarily found around Windsor and worked closely with the couple to create floral decor that was significant, sustainable and in-season.
I am thrilled to share with you that we have been asked by Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle to create their wedding flowers in May. I am loving working with them, it is an incredible privilege, and the designs will be a true reflection of them as a couple, with sustainability at the forefront. We will be using plenty of locally sourced greenery and seasonal flowers including peonies, garden roses and foxgloves @kensingtonroyal photograph credit PA
Why were these flowers chosen for the big day?
There was a great deal of significance behind the flowers chosen for Harry and Meghan’s wedding service. First of all, peonies were present due to them being Meghan’s favourite blooms. White garden roses, as mentioned previously, were favourites of Harry’s mother Diana, as also were forget-me-nots. The presence of myrtle in the bouquet is however a royal tradition, dating back to the time of Queen Victoria.
Many Royal Brides across the generations have chosen to carry a sprig of Myrtle, which represents love, in their bouquets.
This tradition dates back to the wedding of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s eldest daughter. Find out more → https://t.co/s88dWSfqvC pic.twitter.com/kKWjay4S0c— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 11, 2018
The locally selected branches and flowers were chosen to give a British feel to the couple’s big day and also to keep the wedding as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible. Many of the flowers for the day were chosen from local sources, from the Queen’s estates and the local area around Windsor. Some of the flowers were even hand-picked by Prince Harry for his bride’s bouquet from the gardens of their official London residence of Kensington Palace.
Where did the flowers end up after the ceremony was over?
The Duchess of Sussex has sent the bouquet she carried during yesterday’s #RoyalWedding to Westminster Abbey to rest on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior. More: https://t.co/pdFnYO1S49 @KensingtonRoyal @RoyalFamily pic.twitter.com/TnrCEl4M4u
— Westminster Abbey (@wabbey) May 20, 2018
The bridal bouquet was left symbolically on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey, as has been the tradition since the wedding of George VI to Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923. The future Queen and Queen Mother did this originally to commemorate the death of her brother Fergus during the Great War and this custom has continued since.
As for the numerous other blooms that had decorated the ceremony at the Chapel during the day, some were donated to St Joseph’s Hospice, a palliative care home in London, whilst some of the other wedding flowers were left in the chapel to be used in another wedding later in the week.
We hope you enjoyed our little look back at the festive flowers that made Harry and Meghan’s wedding truly special. What did you think of the flowers that were on show at the royal wedding last Saturday? Would you like to have any of these designs or flowers at your own big day? Let us know in the comments.
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