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Royal Wedding Flowers: Zara Tindall

Zara Tindall
Stephen Lock/ i-Images

This is one royal wedding bouquet you’re not going to miss. When the Princess Royal’s only daughter, Zara, married Mike Tindall in Edinburgh on July 30th 2011, her flowers made a striking impression. For, unusually among royal brides, Zara included a splash of colour among the blooms she carried.

This wasn’t just any old burst of brightness. The bride’s bouquet included thistles, a really rare flower among wedding posies, but the perfect nod to the country where she was getting married.  Zara’s flowers included very pale thistles and the nod to Scotland was carried on into her bridesmaids posies, too. The symbolism of the bride’s flower choice for her wedding at  Canongate Kirk on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile was noted more than once at the time.

The rest of the bouquet, by florist Paul Thomas, relies on more traditional wedding flowers. There are calla lillies, hydrangeas and a type of Senecio foliage. It’s also hand tied, a popular trend among brides nowadays, and takes on a slightly rounded shape rather than the more formal cascade chosen by other Windsor women for their weddings.

Zara might not have a royal title but she’s still a descendant of Queen Victoria who did love the language of flowers. In that dictionary, calla lilies stand for faith, purity and rebirth while the hydrangeas denote heartfelt emotions. So far, so very romantic. However, the interpretation of the thistle proves slightly pricklier (absolutely no apologies for the pun).  Some kinds of thistle represent a warning against meddling while others are taken to mean admiration. We might be best sticking to its symbolism as the national flower of Scotland and moving on.

Zara’s bouquet won plenty of plaudits at the time of her marriage and it’s remained a popular pick ever since. She may well be the only royal bride to include thistles in her wedding bouquet but she could well set a trend for marriages to come.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.