Thursday, September 17, 2009
September 17, 2009
Today I have some information to share all the way from London, specifically, West Minster Abbey. I wrote a general email to the Abbey folks asking if what I heard about the royal bouquets being on display is true. Well, I got a prompt and much appreciated response from Laura Kinsey, Press Assistant at the Abbey.
Laura explained that The Duchess of York (pictured to the left with Albert, Duke of York, later King George VI), later to be the Queen Mother, started the tradition of leaving the royal bouquets at the tomb of the Unknown Warrior. Miss Kinsey explained that The Duchess had a brother die in World War I, and it was of very great significance when then left her bouquet on the tomb as she entered the abbey for her wedding. Later, Princess Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II) later followed suit in 1947, then others including Princess Diana in 1981, and Sarah, Duchess of York in 1986.
Miss Kinsey also went on to explain that the bouquets were left on display for a while "until the flowers fade," and that there are in fact no royal bouquets on display anywhere in the Abbey. Kinda sad to think those wonderful bouquets are gone forever, but what an interesting story. Thank you to Miss Kinsey and the Press Office of Westminster Abbey for her generous help and quick response to my email questions.
Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... In 1923 when Elizabeth and Albert, Duke and Duchess of York were married, it was the first time that a royal wedding was broadcast on wireless radio. There were concerns that decorum would be breached and men in pubs would listen to the broadcast with their hats on! How's that for being a stickler for manners?