The Bride's Bouquet
The bouquet is a shield-shaped wired bouquet of myrtle, lily-of-the-valley, sweet William and hyacinth. The bouquet was designed by Shane Connolly, who was also responsible for the decorations in Westminster Abbey.
It draws on the traditions of flowers of significance for the Royal Family, the Middleton family and on the Language of Flowers.
The flowers' meanings in the bouquet are:
- Lily-of-the-valley - Return of happiness
- Sweet William - Gallantry
- Hyacinth - Constancy of love
- Ivy - Fidelity; marriage; wedded love; friendship; affection
- Myrtle - the emblem of marriage; love.
The bouquet contains stems from a myrtle planted at Osborne House, Isle of Wight, by Queen Victoria in 1845, and a sprig from a plant grown from the myrtle used in The Queen's wedding bouquet of 1947.
The tradition of carrying myrtle begun after Queen Victoria was given a nosegay containing myrtle by Prince Albert's grandmother during a visit to Gotha in Germany. In the same year, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought Osborne House as a family retreat, and a sprig from the posy was planted against the terrace walls, where it continues to thrive today.
The myrtle was first carried by Queen Victoria eldest daughter, Princess Victoria, when she married in 1858, and was used to signify the traditional innocence of a bride.