Catherine’s Royal Wedding Bouquet – Featuring Lily-of-the-Valley

I got up at 3 a.m. to see the Royal Wedding today between Prince William and Catherine Middleton. She was beautiful in her elegant gown that reminded my of the late Princess Grace of Monaco and he was so handsome. It was just like a fairy tale.  I was really curious to see what type of bouquet she would carry? Would it be a hand-tied modern design or a cascading design like Will’s mother, Diana?

It was neither, it was an elegant and understated round bouquet of delicate lilies-of-the-valley, accompanied by hyacinth, myrtle, ivy and sweet William (how cute!).

From the 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. The flowers’ meanings in the bouquet are:

  • Lily-of-the-valley – Return of happiness
  • Sweet William – Gallantry
  • Hyacinth – Constancy of love
  • Ivy: Fidelity; marriage; wedded love; friendship; affection
  • Myrtle: the emblem of marriage; love.

The bouquet contains stems from a myrtle planted at Osborne House, Isle of Wight, by Queen Victoria in 1845, and a sprig from a plant grown from the myrtle used in The Queen’s wedding bouquet of 1947.  The tradition of carrying myrtle begun after Queen Victoria was given a nosegay containing myrtle by Prince Albert’s grandmother during a visit to Gotha in Germany.  In the same year, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought Osborne House as a family retreat, and a sprig from the posy was planted against the terrace walls, where it continues to thrive today. The myrtle was first carried by Queen Victoria eldest daughter, Princess Victoria, when she married in 1858, and was used to signify the traditional innocence of a bride.

If you want to add lily-of-the-valley for your wedding bouquet, be prepared to pay top dollar. These small flowers are very expensive, hard to get outside of the month of May and can wilt easily.

If you are florist and want to create a bouquet like Kate’s, talk to your suppliers about availability and how to condition the flowers. You most likely  will need to wire the stems to keep them looking perky and use a foam bouquet holder as well.

My best wishes go out to the royal couple, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. May they have a wonderful and happy life together.

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