Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank are just hours away from tying the knot, bringing us all a second royal wedding in 2018 to gawk over. And while we're dying to find out what style of wedding dress Eugenie wears to the ceremony at St. George's Chapel and watch all the A-list celebs arrive, there is another major big-day detail we can't wait to see—Eugenie's wedding bouquet.
Reportedly, the royal bride has chosen London-based florist Rob van Helden to design and create her wedding-day flowers. And this won't be the florist's first foray into celebrity blooms: Van Helden has worked previously with A-list clients like Pierce Brosnan and Elton John.
The 28-year-old bride hasn't revealed the types of flowers she will feature in her wedding decor, but one thing royal fans can expect to see is some royal floral traditions sprinkled throughout the ceremony. (Yes, royal floral traditions do exist!) One tradition, in particular, is the royal wedding bouquet. Though this detail may seem like an afterthought with all of the other aspects of the wedding, the royal bride's bouquet will have some major history attached to it.
British royal brides for example usually carry myrtle in their bridal bouquet, and Eugenie is expected to follow suit. This tradition comes from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's 1840 wedding, when the Queen carried myrtle—known as the herb of love—in her bouquet. Following the ceremony, Victoria planted a myrtle shrub in her garden at the Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. Since then, every British royal bride since has carried a bouquet containing a sprig plucked from the same shrub.
Throughout history, royal brides have both followed their predecessors' traditions, as well as created some of their own. Here are some of the most iconic bouquets belonging to the world's royal brides, as well as the history behind some of the most interesting wedding bouquet traditions.
As previously stated, Queen Victoria started the tradition of carrying myrtle in the royal bride's bouquet at her wedding in 1840. Using a cutting from her own bouquet, she planted a garden of myrtle bushes on the east facade of Fulham Palace. Since then, every bride in the family line has incorporated myrtle in some aspect of their bouquet.
Mary of Teck
Mary of Teck married the future King George V (Queen Victoria's grandson and Queen Elizabeth's grandfather) in 1893. The bride was said to have walked down the aisle carrying a bouquet of Provence roses, orchids, and orange blossoms. Her bridesmaids carried similar bouquets and wore roses in their hair.
Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon married the Duke of York in 1923. Her wedding bouquet included lilies of the valley and roses—but as you may notice, it's missing from her wedding photos.
Before the ceremony, Lady Elizabeth had her bouquet placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as she entered Westminster Abbey, which Westminster Abbey believes was done to commemorate her brother Fergus Bowes-Lyon, who died during the Battle of Loos in 1915. As a result, this began an unofficial tradition for subsequent brides to have their bouquets sent back to the Abbey after their wedding ceremonies to be placed on the grave of soldiers. Queen Elizabeth II followed this tradition after tying the knot 1947. The Duchess of York, a.k.a. Sarah Ferguson, did the same after marrying Prince Andrew, Duke of York, in 1986. Kate Middleton even followed this tradition after her 2011 nuptials.
Prior to their divorce, Wallis Simpson's wedding to the Duke of Windsor at the Château de Candé in France in 1937 was filled with florals. Though the bride is not seen carrying a bouquet in her wedding photos, the ceremony featured some stunning floral arrangements, which were designed and created by Constance Fry as a gift to Wallis.
Queen Elizabeth's 1947 nuptials to Prince Philip were lavish, but like any other wedding, not everything went according to plan. According to The Telegraph, the Queen's orchid-filled bouquet was misplaced right before the wedding. Despite being personally delivered to Buckingham Palace, the bouquet went missing sometime between the newlyweds' return to the palace and the wedding breakfast. Thus, the Queen was left empty-handed for her wedding photos.
The florist created a replica for the bride and the royal couple later recreated some shots from their wedding later on, but since then, royal florists have learned their mistake, always creating a replica bouquet just in case.
Grace Kelly's 1956 nuptials to Prince Rainier III of Monaco featured a bouquet as stunning as her iconic wedding dress. The Princess of Monaco carried a small bouquet made of Lilies of the Valley and a small Bible for her walk down the aisle. The Bible was given to the bride as a gift and covered in silk faille from the MGM wardrobe department and featured a lace appliqué overlay, embellished with seed pearls.
Princess Margaret, 1960
Queen Elizabeth's sister, Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowden, tied the knot with Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon in 1960. The bride carried a similar but smaller version of her sister's orchid bouquet from 1947.
Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands
The Princess of the Netherlands sported a bouquet of white eucharis and lilies of the valley, which were in season for her spring nuptials in 1966. The floral arrangements were created and designed by Dutch designer Abel Verheijen, who later became famous around Europe for his art.
Princess Margrethe of Denmark
Princess Margrethe of Denmark carried a bouquet of daisies down the aisle of her 1967 wedding, and had the flower placed in her bridesmaids' hair as well. The bloom had particular significance to the bride, as "Daisy" was a nickname for the Princess. The bride also wore a daisy-shaped diamond brooch on her wedding dress.
Princess Caroline of Monaco
Grace Kelly's daughter, Princess Caroline of Monaco, held a small, waterfall bouquet of white flowers, which she had blessed by the parish priest prior to her 1978 wedding.
Maybe the most iconic royal bride of the century, Princess Diana and her 1981 wedding look has been the inspiration for countless bridal trends over the past few decades. Princess Diana's cascading bouquet was as big as every other aspect of her nuptials. (Check out those sleeves!) The floral arrangement was made up of gardenias, stephanotis, odontolglossum orchids, lily of the valley, earl mountbatten roses, freesia, veronica, ivy, trasdescantia, and—you guessed it!—myrtle. The late Princess set the overflowing bouquet look for brides-to-be for the next three decades.
Queen Rania of Jordan
When Queen Rania of Jordan married King Abdullah II in 1993, she opted for a bouquet made up of more fresh greenery than florals, and featured notes of white and yellow to match her white and gold gown.
Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones
Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones married British artist Daniel Chatto in 1994 and carried a round bouquet of white roses and other seasonal blooms. The bouquet accented her tiara, which was designed with diamond flowers and hints of greenery for accent.
Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
Princess Mette-Marit of Norway's 2001 wedding bouquet was anything but traditional. Not only did she forego the typical white blooms, but even the vine-like shape of her bouquet was out of the ordinary. The arrangement consisted of purple and pale blooms (called ‘Brudeloperen’) and was designed by the bride herself, along with the help of floral director Aina Nyberget Kleppe of Oslo.
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands carried a gorgeous teardrop cascade bouquet filled with white roses, gardenia, and lilies of the valley during her wedding to King Willem-Alexander in 2002.
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
Crown Princess Mary married Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark in 2004. The bride, who is native of Tasmania, chose to carry an elegant cascade bouquet of antique roses, stephanotis, azaleas, and spirea. The bouquet also featured hits of eucalyptus, which was flown in from Australia to pay homage to her homeland.
Camilla Parker Bowles
For Prince Charles' second wedding in 2005, bride Camilla Parker Bowles carried a small posy consisting of lily-of-the-valley and yellow, purple, and white primroses with a sprig of myrtle. According to The Telegraph, the bouquet was sent to her as a gift by a well-wisher from Cornwall.
Though Kate's bouquet was small, it fit perfectly with her elegant wedding day look. When the Duchess of Cambridge walked down the aisle in 2011, she carried a small, wired posy—designed by Shane Connolly—made of lily-of-the-valley, Sweet William, hyacinth, and myrtle. Following the ceremony, the bride left her bouquet in Westminster Abbey at the grave of the Unknown Warrior.
Princess Charlene of Monaco
At her 2011 wedding to Prince Albert II of Monaco, Charlene Wittstock carried a chic teardrop bouquet designed by Giorgio Armani and assembled by the groom's gardeners. The arrangement featured hints of cream and white flowers which looked flawless against her Armani wedding dress.
Princess Stephanie of Luxembourg
When Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy married Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume in 2012, she walked down the aisle carrying a cascading bouquet of white orchids, created by Maison Lachaume. The bouquet perfectly complimented the ceremony's decor, consisting of nearly 3,000 blooms that filled Our Lady of Luxembourg cathedral.
Princess Madeline of Sweden
Princess Madeleine of Sweden opted for a classic, round bouquet of white garden roses for her 2013 wedding to Christopher Paul O'Neill. The arrangement consisted of a variety of flowers, including Austin roses, schneewittchen, Winchester Cathedral, alabaster, lily of the valley, and sprigs of myrtle.
Princess Sofia of Sweden
Princess Sofia of Sweden chose a unique bouquet for her wedding to Prince Carl Philip in 2015—a round cluster of colorful coral and cream garden roses. The Princess didn't forget tradition, though: Sprigs of myrtle were included in the arrangement, brought by Princess Margaret of Connaught. Swedish brides have also upheld the tradition of myrtle accents in their bouquets since 1935.
Alessandra De Osma
On March 18, 2018, Alessandra de Osma married Prince Christian of Hanover in Lima, Peru. The bride carried a traditional bouquet of white, seasonal flowers, which paid homage to Princess Grace of Monaco's bridal look.
Meghan Markle's simple posy of white flowers was extra special! According to the palace, Prince Harry himself picked a handful of flowers from the couple’s private garden at Kensington Palace to add to the bride's bouquet, which also contained scented sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine, astrantia, that traditional sprig of myrtle, and forget-me-nots—Princess Diana's favorite flowers. After meeting Price Harry at the altar, she handed her bouquet off to a bridesmaid and it was later placed on the tomb of the unknown solider.