Monday, September 14, 2009

September 14, 2009

Here we have the reigning British Monarch, Elizabeth, now Queen. But, on her wedding day in 1947, she was Princess Elizabeth, heir presumptive to the throne of Great Britain. The smiling and handsome groom, of course, is Prince Phillip, created Duke of Edinburgh upon his marriage to the princess.

As I mentioned some time ago early in the blog, there is a mystery surrounding Princess Elizabeth's bridal bouquet. From some accounts, the original bouquet she carried during the wedding was somehow misplaced after the ceremony, thus did not appear in the family portraits taken after the wedding breakfast at the palace. So, what happened to the bouquet, and why is there an official picture with a bouquet?

One theory is that one of the palace staff simply mislaid the bouquet prior to the photographs being made. But what of the picture above? Well it turns out that as the couple passed through London during their honeymoon, Martin Longman, the royal florist, was called upon to create a duplicate of the bouquet. Then the couple re donned their wedding outfits and a photograph was made showing the princess with here bouquet. However, the wedding party was not available to regroup for the photo, since some days had passed since the wedding.

So, what of the other photo here? Supposedly this is a picture of the mystery bouquet, lying on the tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey. The book Royal Weddings, by Konigliche Hochzeiten, states that the day after the wedding Princess Elizabeth sent her bouquet to be placed on the tomb. Hmmm, very interesting. A letter from Mr. David Longman, creator of several royal bouquets recounted the lost bouquet story in a letter to me a couple of years ago. So, if the original bouquet was lost, and a replica made weeks later for the photos... just which bouquet is this on the tomb of the Unknown Warrior? The mystery continues... very suspenseful, huh?

Royal Wedding Tidbit of the day... Princess Elizabeth's bouquet, created by Martin Longman, and the flowers themselves a gift of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, consisted of a few variety of orchids; cattelya, cyprepedium, and odontoglossom.

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