One Weird Reason Why Meghan Markle Will Have Two Wedding Bouquets
Hint: It involves the Queen.
The inside word on Meghan Markle’s wedding flowers goes like this: the gorgeous bride will likely have not one but two bouquets for her May 19 nuptials. She's already set to have two wedding dresses -- one for the ceremony and another for the reception -- so you might ask what's the big deal. Well unlike the gowns these two bouquets will be identical.
Us too. But the reason behind the intentional double up is not what you think. It’s actually a bit of a royal tradition. It all started in 1947 when the Queen’s own wedding bouquet went missing when she married Prince Philip. Total disaster. A keen-eyed observer will notice that she’s snapped holding flowers in some of the official wedding photographs, but is empty-handed in others. Otherwise you’d never know anything was amiss. Being the total pro she is the Queen simply kept calm and carried on.
Her Majesty wasn’t about to let history repeat itself when her eldest son Charles tied the knot with Diana in 1981. Oh no. London-based florist Longman’s was commissioned to create two of Diana’s now-iconic posies, one being the real deal and the other an identical stand-by. The blooms were delivered to Buckingham Palace by police escort. The Queen was not mucking around.
We have a feeling that Harry and Meghan’s wedding florist of choice Philippa Craddock -- who Meghan reportedly found on Google! -- will be more than happy to fulfill the Queen’s order for two bouquets. Craddock is a favourite amongst the London society scene and has worked with big-name fashion brands Alexander McQueen, Dior and Vogue.
She also picked the blooms for Ronan and Storm Keating’s nuptials on the Scottish coast, as well as Spice Girl Geri Halliwell’s wedding to Christian Horner in 2015. So she’s a total pro at dealing with high-profile and very particular clientele, not that we think for a second that our Haz and Meghs will be anything but a dream to deal with.
So Meghan will have two bouquets but what flowers will she actually carry down the aisle? One thing’s for sure, by all reports the beautiful bride has been very involved in this department. In terms of hue, she’ll likely keep things traditional which means a white palette. Both Duchess Kate and Princess Di’s bouquets were a mix of creamy white blooms although they differed largely in size. Diana’s was an epic cascading collection while Kate’s was simple and petite.
As with many other royal brides before them -- Princess Margaret, Princess Anne and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall -- Diana and Kate made sure to include local flower lily of the valley in their bouquets. The delicate bell-shaped blooms symbolise purity, happiness, luck and humility and are a wedding favourite. Will we see lily of the valley peeking out of Meghan’s bouquet? We think so.
Speaking of traditions, let’s mention myrtle. A sprig of the star-like flower has been included in royal wedding bouquets since Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, also named Victoria, was married in 1858. It all started 13 years earlier when Queen Victoria’s grandmother-in-law gifted her a posy of the blooms which symbolise hope and love. She loved them enough to plant a cutting in her garden at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. Over 170 years later the very same bush is still flourishing. Isn’t that lovely?
The wedding venue St. George's Chapel and nearby St. George's Hall, where the Queen will host the first of two receptions, will be decked out with floral displays by Craddock and her team. Harry in particular will be familiar with the blooms as many will be locally-sourced from the gardens and parkland of The Crown Estate and Windsor Great Park. Expect branches of beech, birch and hornbeam, as well as peonies (Meghan's favourite), foxgloves and, in a nod to Harry's late mother, white garden roses. The pretty blooms were a feature at Charles and Diana's wedding, and were also planted all over Diana’s grave at Althorp.
In keeping with the couple’s charitable nature, the decorative blooms will be donated following the celebration. It’s also customary for royal brides to leave their actual bouquets on the grave of the unknown warrior in Westminster Abbey. This sombre tradition that was started by the Queen Mum in 1923, who left her flowers on the memorial in honour of her brother Fergus, who was killed in World War I in 1915.