Monday, March 21, 2011

Choosing a Bouquet for Kate Middleton

So, did anyone sit and watch the video link from the last blog post?  Well, I have watched it a few times.  So rarely does the media focus on wedding flowers, that I thought it a very good report.  However, like I mentioned there was some erroneous material.  The one most glaring error in the report was concerning the traditional sprig of myrtle included in all royal bridal bouquets.  The gentleman from Organic states that "the sprig of myrtle comes from the Queen Mum's garden, a tradition dating back to 1840."  Well, there are a couple of things wrong with that.  First, the sprig of myrtle was most likely first used in 1840, yes, but it surely didn't come from the Queen Mum's garden... as the Queen Mum, or Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother (The current Queen Elizabeth's mother... confused yet?)... herself did not exist until the year 1900.  Therefore, her garden couldn't have existed in 1840.  So, here's the story.  When Queen Victoria was married, a sprig of myrtle  was added to her bouquet of Snow Drops, as a remembrance of her favorite residence, Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight.  Tradition followed through the years and a very small sprig of myrtle was used in every royal bouquet since.  So, it wasn't the Queen Mum's garden, but the gardens of Osborne House, belonging to Queen Victoria, that are the origin of the myrtle sprigs.  Here is what a "sprig of myrtle" would look like... and an image of Osborne House, Queen Victoria's favorite residence.

Now, let's talk about that video a little more.  The representative from Organic, seemed very knowledgeable about his floral product, the free trade roses, and Kate's favorite flower.  However, I don't think he is a designer himself.  If he were, I think it would have been obvious to him that the center bouquet featured as a cascade fit for a royal bride was grossly over sized and out of proportion.  Sorry folks but it looks more like a casket spray to me, instead of a bridal bouquet.  I'm sure the designer responsible was going for the most grand appearance trying to emulate the grand scale of Diana's bouquet from the royal wedding of 1981.  The bouquet shown couldn't be dragged much less carried up the isle.

I was impressed by some of the facts given, that I have learned over the years from a very singular source and haven't heard repeated much from other sources.  This fact being that for Diana's wedding... and possibly for Kate's... that three bouquets were made.  One for the rehearsal, one for the ceremony, and one for the photos.  And, one of those would be returned to the Abbey for placement on the tomb of the Unknown Warrior.  Also, the video insert of Sarah, Duchess of your mentions that she carried an "S" shape bouquet... which I know is a fact... learned from my friend David Longman, the man who designed both the royal bouquets in the 1980's. 

Hopefully soon, I will be able to show you all what I think/ hope, Kate's bouquet will look like. 

Royal Wedding Flower Tid-Bit for the day... The practice of placing the bouquet on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior began in 1923 by Elizabeth, Duchess of York (in the future to be The Queen Mother) as she recessed down the aisle of Westminster Abbey after her wedding to Albert, Duke of York (in the future, King George VI).  The Duchess's brother was one of the casualties of World War I.


  1. Great post. I'm very interested in Royal Weddings and it's interesting to hear about the flowers used, like you say, it is a part often overlooked. I just knew that part about the Queen Mum's garden was wrong, it just didn't seem right.

  2. Julia, thanks for your input, and thanks for reading my blog... it is an interesting subject and a very obscure one... through this blog, I have met several people with a similar interest, that has been very rewarding.