Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Flowers in Kate's Royal Bouquet



Kate Middleton's royal wedding bouquet included traditional flowers with meaning; the flowers were hyacinth, lily-of-the-valley, sweet William and myrtle.

When Kate Middleton married Prince William at Westminster Abbey in London, England on April 29, 2011, she carried a small and understated wedding bouquet of traditional flowers.

In addition to traditional wedding flowers of hyacinth and lily-of-the-valley, Kate Middleton's wedding bouquet included myrtle and sweet William; myrtle has been part of royal wedding bouquets since Queen Victoria's daughter carried it in her wedding bouquet in 1858. In addition, the bride apparently chose to add sweet William to her bouquet in homage to her new husband.

Hyacinth in the Royal Wedding Bouquet Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis) is a member of the Hyacinthaceae plant family. Although hyacinth is native to the south-east Mediterranean region, it was introduced to England and by the eighteenth century, it was among the most popular flowers in the region.

Hyacinths are fragrant flowers and hyacinth cultivars are available in a wide range of colors; they have a long cluster of flowers along the stalk. Hyacinths are bulbous flowering plants and are frost hardy.

Lily-of-the-Valley in Kate Middleton's Wedding Bouquet Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria majalis) is a member of the Convallariaceae plant family and is a rhizomatous, perennial spring flower. It has small, white flowers that are shaped like bells and green, lance-shaped leaves. Lily-of-the-Valley is native to the United Kingdom and northern Europe; it is also a fragrant flower and is a very popular flower for bridal bouquets.

Myrtle (Myrtus communis) is a member of the Myrtaceae plant family. Myrtle is a scented shrub or tree with ivory flowers; the flowers have five petals and gold stamens. Myrtle also has evergreen leaves and blue-black berries. It is native to the Mediterranean region. Queen Victoria made myrtle popular with British royal brides when she planted a sprig of myrtle at Osborne House in the Isle of Wight, from a nosegay given to her by Prince Albert's grandmother; Queen Victoria's daughter, Princess Victoria, was the first royal bride to carry a sprig from the plant at her wedding in 1858, a tradition that royal brides have continued to honor.

Sweet William in Kate Middleton's Royal Wedding Bouquet Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) is a member of the Caryophyllaceae plant family; it is a herbaceous biennial or perennial plant. The five-petaled flowers of sweet William are clustered at the top of the stem and are fragrant; although cultivars of sweet William are available in many colors, the wild plant has red flowers with a white base.

Sweet William is native to southern Europe but is also a popular British garden flower.

Traditional Meaning of the Flowers in the Royal Wedding Bouquet According to the official Royal Wedding 2011 website, Kate Middleton chose the flowers for her bridal bouquet in part based on the meaning of each flower in the Victorian language of flowers. The Victorian language of flowers allowed lovers to communicate messages to each other through flowers instead of words; meanings vary, depending on which Victorian language of flowers dictionary you use, but the following flower meanings are given by the official Royal Wedding 2011 website:

Sweet William – gallantry
Lily-of-the-Valley – return of happiness Hyacinth – constancy of love
Myrtle – love.

The Royal Wedding Bouquet of Kate Middleton Kate Middleton's wedding bouquet also contained ivy, another common plant in bridal bouquets; many will remember the wedding day of Kate Middleton and Prince William for years to come and although wedding dress fashions may come and go, the flowers used in royal wedding bouquets are steeped in tradition, history and meaning.

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