When friends and family gathered to honor Queen Elizabeth II at her Westminster Abbey state funeral on Monday, September 19, 2022, loved ones noticed several overlaps with the her wedding to Prince Philip. As it turns out, the service intentionally incorporated several nods to the couple's 1947 nuptials.
As the Royal Navy brought the Queen’s casket from the Palace of Westminster to the Abbey on the State Gun Carriage, it was a full-circle moment. More than 70 years earlier, the London church served as the backdrop for the vow exchange between Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh. The Gothic-style church has also been the site of other important royal wedding ceremonies, such as Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011. It's likewise a common location for the burials of late British monarchs
The funeral bouquet on top of the Queen’s casket also reflected her special day. King Charles requested that the wreath contain rosemary, English oak, myrtle, and sweet peas, according to a statement from the Buckingham Palace posted on Twitter. The myrtle used in the funeral floral arrangement was actually cut from the same plant as the myrtle featured in her wedding bouquet. Each flower in the assortment—which sat alongside her crown, scepter, and orb—held a deeper significance. The rosemary represents remembrance, the oak symbolizes strength of love, and the myrtle signifies a happy marriage. Sweet pea was also one of the Queen’s favorite flowers and the flower of her birth month.
Additionally, the funeral bouquet included pelargoniums, garden roses, hydrangea, sedum, dahlias, and scabious in gold, pink, burgundy, and white tones to reflect the Royal Standard. The floral elements each came from the gardens of the Buckingham Palace.
The music selection was also a tribute to the Queen’s nuptials. During the service, friends and family sang “The Lord’s My Shepherd,” the same song played at her wedding ceremony in 1947. The Choir of Westminster Abbey and the Choir of His Majesty’s Chapel Royal also performed two other hymns at her funeral. One of the hymns, “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” made an appearance at the Prince and Princess of Wales’s 2011 wedding, according to People.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's marriage lasted 73 years, the longest in royal history.