Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Queen Mother's Bridal Bouquet

During my last few years of researching royal wedding flowers, one mystery that I kept hearing about was the Queen Mother's bouquet.  The then Duchess of York left her bouquet on the tomb of the Unknown Warrior as she entered Westminster Abbey during a delay of the processional... when a abbey staff member fainted prior to the ceremony.  Thus, after the ceremony, back at the palace, there was no bridal bouquet in the formal portraits.

Some sources say that there was white heather and white roses, another I read said the bouquet contained carnations, fern, and two lilies... but, all sources reporting in on the subject stated that there are no photos of the bouquet to found, so the bouquet's contents cannot be confirmed.

Well, there may be no photographic images of the bouquet, but I thought, what about the film reels of the event?  Knowing that I had seen silent footage of the royal wedding in 1923, I decided to review those films on You Tube.  And, I wasn't dissapointed, as the first film I viewed shows an image of the bouquet being carried by an attendant of the Duchess, following right behind the father of the bride, The Earl of Strathmore.  If I have found it, then, I have another bit of royal flower sleuthing under my belt.  So, from that film I have tried to capture the frame where the bouquet is most visible.  And, to my eye, it does look like a round bouquet of all white roses, gathered with white ribbon.  The white heather may be in there, but, you really can't confirm that by the image on film.  But, I think that I will believe that the heather and rose account is the correct description of the bouquet.

AH HA!  there, it worked!  A film clip capture... thanks very much to my new computer snipping tool, then to a little file conversion with Photo Shop, and there we have it, an image of the Queen Mother's bridal bouquet, just there, to the right of the coachman... the large white puff above and to the left is the plume on the Earl of Strathmore's hat.  Yep, looks like some really precisely arranged white roses!  Thank you to The Royal Channel  on YouTube!  Check out The Royal Channel for many film reel and video images of history royal events, some as early at 1901 with film footage of Queen Victoria's funeral.  I am really excited to have this image clip as it really coincides with the above image in this post, having taken place just seconds after the above picture was snapped.

Royal wedding tidbit for the day...
This past weekend on PBS, a documentary aired entitled "British Royal Weddings." The first part of this series dealt with the wedding we see featured above, then the wedding of they current Queen, Princess Elizabeth back in 1947 when she married, and then, the wedding of Princess Margaret.  Very refreshingly, this documentary dealt with some really interesting and minute details such as the flowers!! And, for the first time, I got to see my friend, David Longman, in person, well... on video really, as he discussed the bouquet his father designed for Princess Elizabeth, sans Gardenias, since Princess Margaret was allergic to them.  How nice to see David on t.v., after years of writing, finally glad to have a face to put with the man from the emails.

No comments:

Post a Comment