As the lone, unashamed Royalist in the GardenDesign.com and Saveur.com office, I am here to report on all the floral details of the Royal Wedding, reported live—from my sofa and my television.
First off, the bouquet. When we last reported on our bouquet and posted the link on Facebook, one of our readers guessed that the bouquet would be lily-of-the-valley. He was right, with the bouquet being much smaller than than the dramatic royal bouquets of the past, looking to the television viewer like a small posy of just lily-of-the-valley, though the bouquet actually contained a number of other plants.
According to the official wedding website, "The bouquet is a shield-shaped wired bouquet of myrtle, lily-of-the-valley, sweet William and hyacinth. The bouquet was designed by Shane Connolly and draws on the traditions of flowers of significance for the Royal Family, the Middleton family and on the Language of Flowers."
Oooh! The Language of Flowers! It's a very Victorian concept (we wrote all about the Language of Flowers and some popular flowers and their meanings a while ago), and apparently one loved by Kate Middleton, as she carried flowers chosen for their meanings in her bouquet: lily-of-the-valley (return of happiness), Sweet William (gallantry and probably as a nod to her new husband), hyacinths (constancy of love), ivy (fidelity), and myrtle (the emblem of marriage and love).
As many people predicted, the bouquet included a sprig of Queen Victoria's myrtle and also included a sprig from a plant grown from the myrtle in Queen Elizabeth's wedding bouquet of 1947. (If nothing else, these shrubs would indicate that myrtle is very easy to propagate.)
Photo from The British Monarchy's Flickr stream. Flowers and plants in the Abbey the day before the wedding, waiting to be arranged. Six members of the National Association of Flower Arranging Societies helped florist Shane Connolly prepare the flowers, all sourced from the Saville Gardens and Valley Gardens in Windsor Great Park, Sandringham Estate, and other English growers.
Westminster Abbey looked spectacular and Shane Connolly and his team brought in eight 20-foot tall trees, (six English Field Maple and two Hornbeam trees), which despite the grumbling of the Daily Mail commenters that it would look "overdone" or (horrors!) "American," were a success. (I think.) You could see the azaleas, rhododendron, euphorbias, beech, wisteria, and lilac at the altar, in shades of green and cream, bringing the outside in. (The flowers will be left at Westminster Abbey until May 6 and the live plants will be re-planted or donated to charity.)
Photo from The Guardian. Young bridesmaids, each wearing a cute lily-of-the-valley-wreath, have facial expressions ranging from excited to a little concerned about the noise.
Finally, the flower girls (or bridesmaids, as they are called) had the sweetest wreaths made from lily-of-the-valley. Last week, we ran our own how-to make wreaths from...lily-of-the-valley! The wreaths are super cute and they're easy to make if you are thinking of doing some for any spring or summer weddings this year.
Congrats to William and Kate or the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as they are to be known, and now I am going back to sleep.
Video about the flower arrangements in Westminster Abbey.