Thursday, April 02, 2009

Royal Wedding Bouquets

An occupational hazard of marrying into the royal family is receiving thousands of bouquets throughout your royal career. While these flowers may be easily forgotten, the most famous flowers, their wedding bouquets are freeze framed in the official pictures for other future brides, royal and non-royal, to take inspiration from.

Queen Victoria (1840) a small posy made up solely of snowdrops (Prince Albert's favorite flower).

Queen Mary (1893) The bridal bouquet was of rare white flowers, with the old Provence rose 'House of York' predominating. The bouquet also included white orchids, lilies of the valley, orange blossom and a new white carnation called 'The Bride'.

Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother (1923) Some reports say the bouquet was created by Edward Goodyear and included roses and lilies-of-the-valley with a white rose on either side. Other reports say that the bouquet was comprised of white roses and heather and was made by the Worshipful Company of Gardeners. None of the wedding photos show the flowers because upon entering Westminster Abbey she placed her bouquet on the tomb of the unknown solider.

Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent (1934) A bouquet of lilies

Queen Elizabeth II (1947) Supplied by the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, and made by Longmans florists. It was was made up of three kinds of British-grown orchids: cattleya, odontoglossum and cypripedium - to which was added a sprig of myrtle from a bush at Osborne House, Queen Victoria's house on the Isle of Wight.

Princess Margaret (1960) bouquet comprised of white orchids and stephanotis

Princess Alexandra (1963) Victorian posy of freesias, narcissi, stephanoitis and lilies-of-the-valley

Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester (1972) bouquet made by her mother-in-law Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester. Modeled on a traditional Danish wedding sheaf, it was comprised of white and cream summer flowers bound with satin ribbon.

Princess Anne, Princess Royal - (1973) Bridal bouquet of white roses, lilies of the valley and stephanotis was "something old" —a sprig of myrtle grown on the Isle of Wight from a sprig of Queen Victoria's wedding bouquet—and a bit of white heather for good luck. Second wedding (1992) she carried a posy of heather and wore white blossoms in her hair.

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York (1986) Wore a headdress of gardenias (Prince Andrew's favorite flower) during the ceremony. After signing the wedding register she wore a borrowed tiara. In her memoirs she writes: "It was my time to be Cinderella. I had stepped up as the country girl; I would walk back as a princess." The bouquet was an 'S'-shaped spray of cream lilies, palest yellow roses, gardenias, lilies-of-the-valley and the traditional sprig of myrtle.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex (1999) The shower bouquet was created around a new variety of tall lily named after Sophie. The rest was comprised of blown ivory garden roses, scented stephanotis, clustered lily of the valley and ivory freesia.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (2005) Designed by Shane Connolly of Shane Connolly Flowers Ltd For the Service of Dedication she carried a small, simple elegant floral bouquet bound with silk from her dress. Complementing the grey blue of her dress, Auricular flowers in dusty shades of greys and creams with touches of gold, have been mixed with clusters of Lily of the Valley both for the scent and the sentiment. Again, these flowers are cut from English grown plants later to be grown in the gardens at Highgrove. A sprig of myrtle, representing happy marriage, was sent from a well wisher in Cornwall for the bouquet.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

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