No doubt, planning a wedding is stressful. There’s so much to attend to; so many major and minor details to see to – the flowers, food, guest list, menus, the ceremony. It can be too much for just one person or a couple to handle. That’s why there are professionals to manage all the details. Imagine though, if your wedding were that of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Your wedding will be watched by millions around the world.
Everything from the ceremony to the reception and all the elements observed by the public will be scrutinized. From the bride’s dress to the flowers and the music. Their wedding will be compared to previous royal weddings. People will either love or hate the bride’s dress.
One element we can’t take issue with is what the royal couple chose to do with the thousands of flowers that adorned St. George’s Chapel. Meghan and Harry decided to have their florist for their big day, Philippa Craddock, make bouquets and donate them to St. Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney, east London.
She spoke earlier this year about the honor of being chosen by Harry and Meghan. “I am excited and honoured to have been chosen by Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle to design and create their wedding flowers,” Craddock said. “Working with them has been an absolute pleasure. The process has been highly collaborative, free-flowing, creative and fun.”
The Palace added that Craddock and her team used flowers and plants that are naturally blooming. They included branches of beech, birch, and hornbeam. The arrangements featured white garden roses, foxgloves, forget-me-nots, and peonies as well.
Kensington Palace added: “We’re incorporating pollinator-friendly plants as part of the displays in and around St George’s Chapel for the #RoyalWedding.”
The blooms and plants for the wedding were provided by the Royal Parks Nursery. Like the plants and flowers, the ingredients such as the produce and other components of the reception menu afterward were locally sourced when possible.
According to Harper’s Bazaar, the residents at the hospice were utterly delighted to receive their very own personal bouquets.
“The flowers are simply stunning, and our patients were both surprised and delighted to receive them,” said Nigel Harding, chief executive of the hospice. “A huge thank you to Philippa Craddock and her team – and of course to the royal bride and groom.”
St Joseph’s Hospice tweeted on Sunday. “Thank you @philippaflowers and Meghan and Harry for the #royalwedding flowers. All our patients got a stunning bouquet, and the hospice smells and looks gorgeous. An amazing gesture, you’re all very kind ❤”
Thank you @philippaflowers and Meghan and Harry for the #royalwedding flowers. All our patients got a stunning bouquet and the hospice smells and looks gorgeous. An amazing gesture, you're all very kind ❤ pic.twitter.com/o7YbUOslxC
— St Joseph's Hospice (@StJoHospice) May 20, 2018
For one resident, in particular, the gesture had a special significance. Pauline Clayton, now 89, helped embroider the 4.5-meter-long train for Princess Elizabeth’s wedding in 1947.
Pauline recalls that time she worked with Norman Hartnell with clarity. “We were on rationing then so we weren’t allowed to sew on any embellishments, so the train was embroidered.”
“There were four of us girls working on it, and we earned 49 and a half hours overtime doing that. With my royal connections, it’s such a lovely coincidence to be at St Joseph’s and receive these wedding flowers. They are beautiful and very special.”
What a kind gesture from the happy bride and groom. Though these flowers don’t last too long, their fragrance and beauty can brighten a space and bring a smile to someone. And isn’t that what matters the most?