Monday, 2 May 2011

The Royal Wedding



Here's the piece I wrote about it in the Sunday Telegraph yesterday. I thoroughly enjoyed it: the pageantry, the flowers, the frocks, the hats, the uniforms, the bridesmaids and pageboys. I didn't have room for everything in the article, so here is a little bit extra on the bride's bouquet:

The meaning of the flowers:
Lily-of-the-valley – Return of happiness
Sweet William – Gallantry
Hyacinth – Constancy of love
Ivy: Fidelity; marriage; wedded love; friendship; affection
Myrtle: the emblem of marriage; love.

The bouquet contains stems from a myrtle planted at Osborne House, Isle of Wight, by Queen Victoria in 1845, and a sprig from a plant grown from the myrtle used in The Queen’s wedding bouquet of 1947.The tradition of carrying myrtle begun after Queen Victoria was given a nosegay containing myrtle by Prince Albert’s grandmother during a visit to Gotha in Germany.  In the same year, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought Osborne House as a family retreat, and a sprig from the posy was planted against the terrace walls, where it continues to thrive today.

The myrtle was first carried by Queen Victoria eldest daughter,
Princess Victoria, when she married in 1858, and was used to signify
the traditional innocence of a bride.

16 comments:

normalityandme said...

Thank you for posting this link. I usually buy The Sunday Telegraph but it had sold out by the time I got down the Co-Op yesterday! x

Justine Picardie said...

Glad to help out.

enid said...

What a glorious day I had watching the wedding. It made me so happy and I loved your article. I agree fully with you re the fashions.London was looking splendid and everyone seemed to be having such a good time

Karen, Surrey said...

Just read your Telegraph article. I wonder if the Ugly Sisters did it on purpose because their mother "couldn't" be there. Other than that it was all fantastic wasn't it!

Stephen Pope said...

'The meaning of the flowers: Sweet William – Gallantry'

There's a nice inversion of the Kate/Prince fairytale in the Scots folk song Lord Lundy (also called Sweet William in some versions). In the song, poor lovelorn Janet is just about to complete on a patriarchically enforced marriage to the unspeakable English heir (born to be king, no less!) when at the vital moment her beloved, Sweet William, arrives at the altar to supply the romantic happy ending...

'O hold your hand, you minister,
Hold it a little wee,
Till I speak wi the bonnie bride,
For she's a friend to me.

Stand off, stand off, you braw bridegroom,
Stand off a little wee;
Stand off, stand off, you braw bridegroom,
For the bride shall join wi me.'

kairu said...

I didn't get up in the middle of the night to watch the wedding, but many of my friends did, and I loved looked at all the photographs later in the day. That McQueen by Sarah Burton gown was amazing, with the tightly corseted top and ever-so-slightly exaggerated hips and bustle, and that beautiful lace. It was romantic and so subtly dramatic, the shape of the bodice recalling the McQueen silhouette. I loved that, above all else, Kate, sorry, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, looked utterly like herself. I loved the symbolism of the flowers and while it was a surprisingly small bouquet, it was delicate and beautiful. I love lilies-of-the-valley!

Justine Picardie said...

I know feel inspired to plant swathes of lily of the valley...

Bette said...

I too really enjoyed the wedding but I was very disappointed with the TV coverage of fashion. I channel hopped but found that the fashion experts - who had interesting things to say and knew their stuff - were continually interrupted for yet another vox pop. Grrr. One male commentator spoke about the bride's long veil when he meant her train (which wasn't long by royal standards) then confessed he didn't know 'much about dresses'. No commentator would ever confess that if it had been about politics or sport...

silverpebble said...

Thankyou so much for sharing the significance of each flower and herb. What a thoughtful bouquet it was.

Mine had sweet peas to recall my Grandfather's allotment and rosemary for remembrance of my Grandparents. There was scabious, my Grandmother's favourite flower and marjoram for joy.

Stephen Pope said...

'I now feel inspired to plant swathes of lily of the valley...'

Now that's a plan. The bolshevik in me feels a bit disenfranchised by the Wedding circus, but Lily-of-the-Valley, with its impeccable socialist/republican associations, is definitely my kind of plant. Sunday was 'Lily-of-the-Valley day' in France - La Fete du Muguet. Up the proletariat!

jaywalker said...

I agree with all your article, Justine, except what is that peculiar triangle on Mrs Cameron's dress in an odd position to say the least? And her shoes look hideous.
Otherwise, I loved it all too. Was a bit sad to see the Duchess of Kent looking so ill and frail and noticing how old Alexandra must be by now but no one does it like the Brits!

Justine Picardie said...

Thanks to everyone for comments. I must say, I do agree with Bette about the lack of proper fashion commentary -- the BBC did have two fashion experts in the studio, but they were barely used, and as you say, the bulk of the broadcasters knew nothing about fashion. But that's pretty typical -- as if fashion is too frivolous to deserve serious commentary, unlike sport or politics. It would be absurd to hear a senior broadcaster say he knew nothing about sport, whilst covering a huge national sporting event; so why was it deemed acceptable at the Royal wedding, when the clothes were hugely significant and symbolic? It never fails to irritate me!

Lilacs In May said...

Lovely article, so good to get more detail. The outfit I loved but which has not been mentioned was Lady Sarah Chatto (prev. Armstrong Jones). Classic, elegant and the epitome of understated style.

Did you hear the reading of Daphne du Mauriers's The Doll this afternoon on R4? I enjoyed it.

Justine Picardie said...

I did hear it -- and thought it was intriguing, especially as central character is called Rebecca.

Stephen Pope said...

The 'Doctor Who hat', in the Telegraph article, is a devastatingly good line.

Nuptial voyeurism is unavoidably flavour of the month, so I shudder to think what the celebrity and fashion commentators are going to make of Labour leader Ed Miliband's shotgun wedding at the end of May. The bar has been raised impossibly high by the other lot, so it might be a smart diversionary tactic to invite Pippa (or the Ugly Sisters) to give the photographers something to get their teeth into. At least the Labour leader is marrying Justine... usually a good choice.

fred said...

Ohh God what a wedding, I'd like to get a wedding like that, I'd make something similar but I'd place a stand related to pharmacy reviews because I know there are some of my friends who need it.