With just days to go until the second royal wedding of 2018, it’s time to get very excited indeed about all things bridal. All eyes will be on Princess Eugenie of York on October 12th as she walks into St George’s Chapel, Windsor for her marriage to Jack Brooksbank, and while the gown and tiara will be getting plenty of glances, there’s one thing that really seals a royal nuptial look, and that’s the bouquet. We may not know yet which blooms this royal bride will pick, but there are some flowers that have a special claim to a place in this posy. Royal Central takes a look at the petals which could well feature in Princess Eugenie’s wedding bouquet.
The White Rose of York
Eugenie will be the first York princess to get married for a very long time, so the chances of her including the white rose so famously associated with her royal house have got to be pretty high. The first Duke of York, Edmund of Langley, fourth son of Edward III and Philippa of Hainault, chose it as his symbol back in the 14th century. Since then, it’s been linked to the dukedom and the whole county of Yorkshire.
It’s also a traditional bridal staple and in the language of flowers, so beloved by Queen Victoria, it denotes purity and innocence.
Lily of the Valley
This fragrant little flower is a popular pick for royal brides and just about every Windsor wedding over the past century has seen its sweetly scented petals included in the bouquet.
It was also popular with Queen Victoria who drew a self-portrait of herself with a garland of lily of the valley in her hair. Meanwhile, its meaning in the language of flowers makes it a marriage favourite as it denotes a “return to happiness”.
OK, bear with me on this one. The orchid isn’t exactly in fashion right now, but this bloom has a very sentimental link for Eugenie. For back in 1947, when she was being really rather practical and regal in organising a royal wedding to cheer a nation, The Queen came over ever so slightly bridezilla and insisted on orchids for her bouquet.
The then Princess Elizabeth was quite happy to go with the regal flow when it came to her own bash at Westminster Abbey, but she would carry no other flower but orchids, and so teams across England spent months growing three kinds of the flower for the bride’s bouquet. The result was a striking and very forties looking posy. The orchid, which symbolises love, luxury and beauty in the language of flowers, would be a lovely nod to Eugenie’s royal grandmother.
We’re sticking with the sentiment here because gardenias hold a very special place in the hearts of Eugenie’s closest family. They are said to be the Duke of York’s favourite flower and, for that reason, Sarah Ferguson featured them heavily in her bridal bouquet and in the headdress of blooms that she wore to arrive for the couple’s wedding back in July 1986.
In the language of flowers they mean “you’re lovely” and they are also used as an expression of joy. In Victorian times, lovers would send each other gardenias as a sign of their secret affections for one another.
One bloom we do know will be included in Eugenie’s bouquet is myrtle. A sprig of myrtle, grown from bushes linked to Queen Victoria, has found its way into every royal bridal posy since the day her daughter, Victoria, married over a century and a half ago.
The myrtle comes from Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, Victoria’s beloved residence, and new specimens are always being grown from cuttings taken from the existing royal plants. The sprigs in the Duchess of Sussex’s bouquet were taken from a plant grown from a cutting used at The Queen’s wedding. Eugenie’s myrtle will also come from Osborne, and as well as following royal tradition, by using myrtle, this royal bride will also include a very symbolic bloom in her bouquet. Myrtle means love in the language of flowers and is an ancient Hebrew symbol of marriage.
We’ll find out which blooms Princess Eugenie has picked in just a few days’ time, and you can follow all the latest details from the wedding build up as well as getting all the news on the big day itself here on Royal Central.