The Duchess of Sussex has sent her wedding bouquet to Westminster Abbey to rest on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior. This tradition was begun by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, then Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, when she married the then Duke of York, later King George VI. She did this in memory of her brother Fergus who was killed in 1915 at the Battle of the Loos during the First World War.
The Duchess of Cambridge and The Countess of Wessex also had their bouquets places on the Grave after their weddings.
The Duchess of Sussex’s bouquet, created by Philippa Craddock, was made up of bridal favourites including lily of the valley and jasmine as well as sweet peas and astrantia. Two other plants, with royal links, were included in the arrangement which was designed in a natural style and held at the base with raw silk ribbon. Like many a royal bride before her, The Duchess of Sussex carried myrtle in her bouquet. She also chose to include forget me nots, a favourite flower of Diana, Princess of Wales and which was added, Kensington Palace said, “to honour the memory of the late Princess on this special day”.
The sweet peas are a sign of appreciation and also mean “blissful pleasure”. They’re a traditional cottage garden flower as is the astrantia whose name comes from the Latin for star, adding some extra sparkle to the whole symbolism of this wedding bouquet.
The myrtle, too, is highly significant meaning love and for centuries it has been seen as an emblem of marriage. It’s also a way of linking new royal brides to all those who had gone before as the use of this fragrant plant in regal wedding bouquets goes all the way back to Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, Princess Victoria, who added sprigs of the plant to her posy when she married in 1858. The leaves in The Duchess of Sussex’s bouquet were taken from a bush grown from the myrtle used in the Queen’s own wedding posy.
The forget me nots signify memories and are a sign of true love.