Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Duchess of Cambridge's Bouquet - The Royal Replica

Just recently a royal exhibit has opened at Buckingham Palace.  The featured attraction for the summer's tour of the palace is the currently most famous wedding dress in the world, that of The Duchess of Cambridge, formerly Kate Middleton.  Many thousands of advance tickets have been sold, bringing in money to support the renovation and repairs needed at the Palace.

In addition to the dress, other wedding items are on display as well... The Duchess's wedding shoes covered in the same handmade lace as her gown.  The diamond earrings commissioned by her parents as a gift can be seen as well.  The actual wedding cake, with the top three layers replaced, is also on display in the banquet room.  The crowning feature of the gown display is the veil and Cartier tiara that Catherine wore on her wedding day.  Finally, and not at all least important to this blogger... a replica of the bridal bouquet is also on display in the same case with the shoes and the earrings.  The original bouquet's designer, Shane Connolly, has recreated the bouquet in faux flowers.  The replica is so realistic, even this seasoned designer is pressed to see any difference in the two when pictures are compared.

Mr. Connolly has explained that the inspiration for the bouquet was the dress.  The intricate lace detailing of the Catherine's gown lent the suggestion that delicate flowers were needed.  Lily of the Valley, the bouquets main component were chosen for their very delicate features... massed together in what as been described as a "shield" shape with individual Hyacinth florets, delicate white Sweet William, and the ever traditional myrtle foliage always present in royal bouquets, the bouquet is finished quite simply with a small bow and ribbon wrapping on the handle.

With the wonders of the Internet, the identity of the florist for this wedding was well know months before the event.  While doing research on the florist for the royal weddings in the 1980's, there was months of searching and researching through old floral magazines and books.  Then to finding someone at the Worshipful Company of Gardeners that was helpful in getting me connected with David Longman.  Logman was the designer of the bouquets for Diana Spencer and Sarah Ferguson.  Then correspondence by old fashioned mail proved productive.  Now for the past four years, this blogger has been privileged to call Mr. Longman a friend.  He has shared with me the techniques used in Diana's bouquet, and some interesting stories about his involvement with the royal weddings some 30 years ago. 

Now for the next quest.  To contact Mr. Connolly, and ask him some questions about the most recent famous royal bridal bouquet.  It's certain that my search for information will be made much easier considering the massive progress made in information accessibility in the past few years.  It seems that we have known every detail about every aspect concerning the Cambridge's wedding.  I for one am grateful that so much interesting information has been made so accessible to those interested in Royal Weddings. 

If I manage to contact Mr. Connolly or his firm, I will certainly share any interesting pieces of information with my blog followers.

Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... Coming up this weekend is yet another royal wedding.  The Queen's first grand daughter, Zara Phillips will marry Mike Tindal.  Though Miss Phillips carries no royal title, at the request of her mother Anne, The Princess Royal, she will be afforded her share of the royal limelight.  Zara's wedding will take place in a few days, in Edinburgh, Scotland.  The location for the wedding is the quaint (compared to Westminster Abbey) Canongate Kirk.  Where the royal family worships when at Hollyrood House, official royal residence in the Scottish metropolis.  Below is a picture of the church.

Photo Credits: Shane Connolly still and close up bouquet still: The Royal Wedding Dress: A Story of Great British Design.  The Royal Channel, YouTube, July 25, 2011.

Canongate Kirk photo:


  1. I toured this church briefly while on my 1999 hike across Scotland. Its near the bottom of the Royal Mile. Great place for a wedding I think.

  2. The wedding flowers is important and i visited that church in main concept to the wedding planner.