For a royal bride, a bouquet is far more complex than simply picking out appealing flowers. Each floral choice is infused with history and symbolism, which have to be taken into account in these special arrangements. Princess Beatrice, who is set to marry fiancé Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi at the end of May, is certainly grappling with these tough choices. Read on for what we know so far regarding Beatrice’s wedding bouquet.
A Sprig of Myrtle
A sprig of myrtle represents love, which is probably why so many royal brides have chosen to include it in their wedding bouquets. Beatrice’s sister, Princess Eugenie, carried the sprig during her wedding to Jack Brooksbank and Beatrice’s mother, Sarah Ferguson, also included myrtle in her wedding bouquet.
According to the royal family's official website, the tradition of including a sprig of myrtle in the wedding bouquet dates back to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s eldest daughter, also named Victoria. The 1858 wedding began a tradition that would last over a century. Queen Elizabeth carried myrtle in her wedding bouquet, as did the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex.
Given this strong precedent, it is safe to assume that Beatrice will add a sprig of myrtle to her bouquet.
In addition, it’s important to note that all flowers have symbolic meaning, so Beatrice will need to consider the messaging her floral arrangement conveys. For example, as per the Daily Express, “When Kate walked down the aisle on April 29, 2011, her bouquet reflected the special occasion. There were hyacinths, for steady love; ivy, for fidelity and friendship; myrtle, the emblem of matrimony and lily of the valley for happiness.”
Indeed, Beatrice’s bouquet will carry different connotations depending on which flowers she chooses.
All-White Color Schemes
Almost all royal wedding bouquets solely include white flowers. It is likely that Beatrice will follow this precedent.
“Brides often have to be gently guided towards the right sort of flowers that will accentuate rather than distract from their gown, yet are bold enough to be seen at a large-scale ceremony—and won’t begin to wilt as soon as they are cut,” British florist Jane Packer told the Telegraph in advance of Will and Kate's wedding. “Protocol dictates that for an occasion such as this, the bouquet will be all-white.”
Royal brides who chose an all-white bouquet include Queen Elizabeth, Grace Kelly, Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, Princess Diana, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex. Additionally, both Beatrice’s mother and sister opted for all-white wedding bouquets.
Some Familial Inspiration?
While we don’t know Beatrice’s favorite flowers, she may draw inspiration from her sister and mother’s bouquets.
For Princess Eugenie’s recent wedding to Jack Brooksbank, she chose a teardrop-shaped ivory bouquet designed by celebrity florist Rob van Helden. Her bouquet included lily of the valley, white spray roses, trailing iris, ivy, and, of course, a sprig of myrtle. This autumnal arrangement beautifully complemented the season and the bride’s emerald tiara. Additionally, Eugenie’s bouquet was larger than the royal bouquets of late, including both Kate and Meghan’s.
In contrast, Eugenie and Beatrice’s mother, Sarah Ferguson, chose a relatively small bouquet when she wed Prince Andrew in 1986. Her arrangement included the myrtle, along with gardenia, veronica, and lily of the valley. Fergie opted not to use an established florist, but rather chose the then 26-year-old newcomer, Jane Packer. Her risk paid off, as she ended up with a lovely arrangement which she, famously, paired with flowers in her hair.
Lily of the Valley is a floral favorite among royal women, dating back to Princess Grace of Monaco. Eugenie, Fergie, Kate, and Meghan all included the delicate white flower in their bouquets. Some other popular flowers among royal brides include white orchids (as used in the Queen’s bouquet), calla lilies (Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Zara Phillips), and carnations (also in the Queen’s bouquet and rumored to be her favorite flower).
No matter what bouquet Beatrice chooses, it is expected that, after the ceremony, she will leave it on the grave of the unknown warrior in Westminster Abbey. The tradition, customary among the royal family, was started by the Queen Mother in 1923, in honor of her brother, who was killed in World War I.
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