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The symbolism of a pretty posy of flowers that became the wedding bouquet of a queen

Windsor Castle East Terrace

The wedding bouquet carried by Queen Camilla on her wedding day, April 9th 2005 were a riot of early blooms that matched her pale blue and gold dress to perfection. But the flowers were also filled with personal touches that had their own place in a royal romance that made her a queen. For not only were the flowers in the posy highly significant, they had been grown by the bride and groom themselves.

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Queen Camilla’s wedding flowers were a burst of sunshine. She carried her bouquet at the blessing of her marriage at St. George’s Chapel which came just a few hours after the civil ceremony in which she had legally wed King Charles.

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The posy was made up of cream, yellow and mauve primroses which start to bloom in late spring and which dot many a garden in the first part of April. The bouquet was certainly fragrant as it also contained lily of the valley. The flowers were arranged on top of that royal wedding staple, myrtle foliage, and they were all gathered together in a traditional wired style bouquet.

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It was the work of Shane Connolly who also designed the arrangements that decorated St. George’s Chapel, Windsor during the blessing ceremony. And King Charles and Queen Camilla, both well known for their love of gardening, kept it home grown for their wedding. Many of the blooms that decorated St. George’s Chapel in Windsor during their service of blessing came from the gardens at Highgrove and Queen Camilla’s home at Ray Mill House.

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The symbolism of the flowers was lost on no one either. In the Victorian language of flowers, lily of the valley means a ‘’return to happiness’’ and can also symbolize ‘’you have made my life complete’’. Primroses in general are taken to mean ‘’young love’’ and sometimes the much more passionate ‘’I can’t live without you’’. However, the Victorians added other meanings to the flower depending on its colour with purple primroses, such as those that star in Camilla’s bouquet, symbolizing confidence. Myrtle, as always, is a sign of married love.

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Queen Camilla had just one bouquet on her royal wedding day, having chosen to forego flowers at her civil wedding earlier in the day. The posy she carried at St. George’s was neat and rather sweet. But it is the personal touches attached to this bouquet that make it so important. After a sometimes bumpy path to the altar, these flowers did plenty of talking for both the bride and her groom. And now they are the wedding bouquet of a queen.

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About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and 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 who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. 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.