When Kate Middleton walked down the aisle to marry Prince William, Britain’s future queen carried a delicate bouquet that may have seemed small by royal standards but held tremendous meaning for the bride. In keeping with royal tradition, Kate carried an all-white bouquet but eschewed royal ostentation for a simple bouquet of Sweet William, in tribute to her prince, mixed with fragrant hyacinths, charming lily-of-the-valley and myrtle. The same flowers were used in the bridesmaids’ bouquets. The young flower girls wore wreaths fashioned of English Ivy (Hedera) and lily-of-the-valley, a gracious nod to the wedding bouquet Kate’s mother carried when she wed Kate’s father.
Wedding flowers were selected for their personal significance to the Royal and Middleton families and for their traditional associations. Hyacinth (Hyacinthus) represents loveliness and constancy. Lily-of-the-valley symbolizes humility and devotion. Myrtle signifies wedded love. Dianthus (Sweet William) connotes both gallantry and pure, enduring love.
Floral designers for the royal wedding said the couple’s floral choices reflected respect for English tradition, a commitment to using common British flowers, and a desire to share their joy with the English people. The 20-foot English Field Maples and Hornbeam trees used to create the stunning natural canopy inside Westminster Abbey and most of the greenery that decorated the church were brought in from royal estates. The azaleas, lilacs, rhododendron and wisteria used in the church decorations were from the Windsor Great Park flower gardens.
Instead of tossing her bouquet to her bridesmaids, after the ceremony Kate’s bouquet was placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The trees and flowers used to decorate Westminster Abbey were donated to charities for replanting, and the cut flowers were delivered to nursing homes and hospitals.