The flowers for the British Royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton were a family affair. It seems both bride and groom have sentimental sides and Kate is keenly aware of the language of flowers.
Her bouquet was filled with significance, from the Sweet William blooms symbolizing gallantry to the myrtle sprigs from a plant grown by Queen Victoria.
Queen Elizabeth contributed greenery and flowers from her estates and the Middleton’s were represented in the bridesmaids’ hair wreaths.
Kate Middleton’s Wedding Bouquet
Kate was reportedly very involved with the selection of flowers and what they represented.
- Hyacinth – Constancy of love
- Ivy – Fidelity; marriage; wedded love; friendship; affection
- Lily-of-the-valley – Return of happiness
- Myrtle – the emblem of marriage; love.
- Sweet William – Gallantry
The myrtle stems in the bouquet were from a myrtle planted by Queen Victoria, in 1845, and from a plant grown from a spring used in Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding bouquet, which had been rooted and grown into a shrub. This is an ongoing tradition in the British royal family. Prince Albert’s grandmother presented Queen Victoria with a nosegay containing myrtle, when she came to visit. Queen Victoria planted some of the myrtle at their family retreat, Osborn House and it is still growing there today. Her daughter, Princess Victoria was the first bride to carry sprigs in her wedding bouquet, in 1858.
The Bridesmaid’s Flowers
The bridesmaids’ bouquets were designed using the same flowers as the bride’s, but Kate’s side of the family was represented in the bridesmaid’s hair wreaths. Ivy and lily-of-the-valley were worn by Kate’s mum, at her wedding in 1981.
The Flowers at Westminster Abbey
Connolly turned Westminster Abbey into an English garden by creating an avenue of trees (English Field Maples and Hornbeams) and an alter overflowing with greenery cut from the royal estates. This was a special request to the Queen by Price William. Even the flowers were from Windsor Great Park, truly making it a family affair. There were Azaleas (a Chinese symbol of femininity), white lilacs (first love), rhododendron and wisteria. The effect was both sentimental and very elegant.
What happens to all these flowers after the wedding? They remain on public display at the Abbey, for the following week. After that, whatever cannot be replanted is donated to charities.