In Brief

Royal wedding: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s flowers sent to hospice as ‘lovely’ surprise gift

Flowers from Windsor Castle ceremony sent to charities around the UK, but bridal bouquet follows a special royal tradition

A London hospice is among the recipients chosen to receive a special memento of the royal wedding - bouquets of flowers from the ceremony.

Following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s nuptials on Saturday, the sumptuous floral arrangements which bedecked St George’s Chapel were divided into bouquets and sent out to various charities and institutions.

The unexpected gift brightened the day for patients at St Joseph’s Hospice in east London.

Pauline Clayton, 89, a former embroideress who helped make the Queen’s wedding and coronation gowns and now receives respite care at the hospice, said that the flowers were “lovely”.

“If I was her, I would have wanted to keep them all with me,” she said of the new Duchess of Sussex.

The floral displays “were created using locally sourced foliage, much of which was taken from the gardens and parkland of The Crown Estate and Windsor Great Park”, PA reports.

“These included branches of beech, birch and hornbeam, as well as white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves.”

However, the bride’s bouquet will not have been among the flowers sent out around the country.

Like Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge before her, Markle chose to have her own bouquet placed at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Westminster Abbey.

The monument was erected in 1920 in memory of First World War dead whose grave was unknown, and holds the body of an unidentified British soldier.

“The tribute to the military initially started with the Queen Mother,” says Town and Country. When Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon married the future George VI in 1923, the bride had her bouquet placed on the tomb in memory of her brother, Fergus, a Black Watch officer killed during the First World War.

This was not the only royal wedding tradition Markle chose to follow with her bouquet. Her selection of flowers also included a sprig of myrtle, a tradition started by Queen Victoria at her wedding to Prince Albert which has been observed by royal brides ever since.

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