Royal Bridal Bouquets: What Queens and Princesses Chose For Their Wedding Day
Queen Victoria was quite the trend setter during her reign. She was very influential, even across the ‘pond’ in the United States. She introduced social and wedding customs still adhered to today. The Queen made wearing white de rigueur.
White fabric was hard to come by in Queen Victoria’s era. Only the wealthy could afford white material. Consequently, white stood for wealth rather than purity.
One wedding style the Queen initiated was wearing an orange blossom wreath in her hair. This is still a nice look, particularly for hippie chicks and earthy brides. A bridal head wreath can be constructed out of any flower. This is a charming style and always will be.
The Queen’s bridal bouquet was small, a posy, with snowdrops. Snowdrops are in bloom in February, when the queen was married. In addition, they were the much loved flower of her intended.
Fast forward many years to 2011 when Kate Middleton tied the knot with Princess William. Her bridal bouquet was simplistic compared to flowers carried by her predecessors. The bouquet consisted of lily of the valley, myrtle, sweet William blooms and hyacinth. It was all white and not large. These particular flowers have meaning to the royals as well as to Kate’s family.
Lilies represent return of happiness; myrtle is the symbol for marriage; ivy represents faithfulness and friendship and hyacinths stand for secure love; English royal brides carry a stem from a myrtle planted in 1845 by Queen Victoria.
OTHER MEMORABLE BRIDAL BOUQUETS
- The late Princess Diana opted for an entirely different style of bridal bouquet when she married Prince Charles in 1981. Her bouquet was not discreet as was her future daughter-in-law’s. Princess Di carried a large, cascading bouquet. It cascaded nearly four feet, consisting of lily of the valley, gardenia, freesia, Stephanotis, orchids, veronica, tradescanta, ivy, a sprig of myrtle, yellow roses and weighed approximately five pounds. That’s a lot of flowers to tote around all day. The bouquet was primarily white.
- When Diana’s mother in law Queen Elizabeth II married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in 1947, her bouquet was a cascading collection of white orchids with the obligatory sprig of myrtle.
- In 1986, when Sarah Ferguson married Prince Andrew her bouquet consisted of gardenias, pale yellow roses, the require sprig of myrtle, lily of the valley and cream color lilies, fashioned in an “S” shape spray. It was not as lavish as Princess Di’s bouquet.
- When American movie star Grace Kelly married Prince Rainer of Monaco she opted for a bouquet featuring lily of the valley, while her attendants carried tea rose bouquets and the flower girls carried white daisies.
- Jacqueline Bouvier chose to carry a bridal bouquet featuring pink and white spray orchids and gardenias when she wed John F. Kennedy in 1953.
- At Caroline Kennedy’s wedding in 1986, she carried a bridal bouquet made up of white phaleonopsis orchids. Caroline’s sister in law, the late Carolyn Bessette, carried a bouquet consisting of lily of the valley when she married JFK, Jr. Neither bridal bouquet was large.
- American royalty Elizabeth Taylor married the first time in 1950 (to Nicky Hilton.) She chose a bouquet consisting of white orchids.
- President Nixon’s daughter Tricia was married in the White House Rose Garden in 1971. Her bridal bouquet was a diminutive nosegay featuring lily of the valley and roses. A nosegay is a small bouquet and very different from the large cascading arrangements that Princess Di and other chose for their weddings.
The choice of a bridal bouquet is a very personal thing. The bride may select it based on color, preference of flowers, preference of style or because certain flowers represent special things to her.
Tiffany Wells is a professional blogger that writes for Afloral.com, a leading online retailer of silk flower arrangements and floral supplies.
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