Though Queen Elizabeth gets a bad rap for the way she treated Princess Diana, some royal enthusiasts might not know that the duo started a new royal wedding custom together. “The People’s Princess” is the one who, with some prodding from the queen, began the tradition of having two royal bouquets at her wedding — something it’s believed both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle followed — and the reason why makes so much sense.
It was at the queen’s request that Diana decided to have two royal bouquets. “If we go back to the queen’s wedding in 1947, when you look at the state photographs of all the bridesmaids and royal guests — there’s the queen without a bouquet,” David Longman, the chief florist at Diana’s wedding, explained during a segment of the British program Invitation to the Royal Wedding. “It got lost, so in the middle of their honeymoon, they had to get dressed up again in their wedding clothes and my father had to provide another bouquet for those photographs.” So it seems like Queen Elizabeth learned from her mistake and required that a second bouquet be made for Lady Di.
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“The first [bouquet we made for Diana] had to be delivered at 8 o’clock to Buckingham Palace. We had a police escort motorcyclist who took us all through the city to the Palace,” Longman said. “Then we came back, and by that time they had finished the second bouquet and back we went again.”
A police escort for flowers? We’d bet those were the most well-protected blooms ever! Of course, they did look quite stunning in Diana’s hands as she walked down the aisle. The eye-catching mixture of gardenias, lily of the valley, myrtle, ivy, stephanotis, Earl Mountbatten roses, odontoglossum orchid, veronica, fressia, and tradescantia perfectly accented her full-skirted, puff-sleeved gown.
Even the sharpest royal watcher probably won’t be able to tell whether Meghan had to use the second bouquet at her nuptials. But given her whirlwind day, we certainly can’t fault her if she accidentally left her flowers behind. Fortunately, the queen’s forward thinking has probably saved and will continue to save future royal brides from the conundrum of what to do if the royal bouquet is lost.