Tradition of Royal Weddings

With the recent (almost) Royal Wedding between Pippa Middleton and James Matthews, there is not a better time to assess flower trends in royal weddings. At Brown Floral, we look at wedding trends, but more importantly work with exactly what our brides want for flowers on their special day. From Victoria and Albert in 1840 to Kate and William in 2011, and even to Pippa and James earlier this month, there is one trend that transcends the actual type of flowers used in British royal weddings: a pure white bouquet with hints of green foliage.

Composition Of Royal Wedding Bouquets

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, 1840: This wedding might be marked as the beginning of the tradition of a “White Wedding.” Historically, brides wore colorful dresses with hints of gold or silver. Victoria opted for an all-white dress, which symbolized her family’s wealth – not purity, as it does today. Victoria incorporated white into all aspects of her wedding, including donning an orange blossom flower crown full of white blooms. An excerpt from her diary entry from the day of the wedding says, “My twelve young train-bearers were dressed all in white with white roses, which had a beautiful effect.” Victoria’s bouquet contained white myrtle, a small sweet-smelling blossom. Though Victoria was not the first royal to have a white wedding, she certainly set the precedent that all royals, and most brides, follow today.

Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, 1947: Perhaps the wedding that started westerner’s obsession with royal weddings, this wedding was broadcasted to 200 million radio listeners worldwide.  Elizabeth’s bouquet was overflowing with white orchids, white cattleya, and like Victoria before her, traditional white myrtle.

Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1960: This was the first royal wedding broadcasted on television, and was viewed by over 300 million people. Margaret, Queen Elizabeth II’s younger sister, carried a white bouquet similar to Elizabeth’s, with white orchids and myrtle.

Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips, 1973: This was another televised royal wedding, and after the hype of Margaret’s nuptials, fashion was at the forefront. Anne wore a silk gown with a high collar and giant trumpet sleeves. She carried a small spray bouquet of lily of the valley and white roses, sticking with the traditional white bouquet set forth by her predecessors.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles, 1981: Do we need to set the scene for this one, or are you already picturing Diana descending the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral, with a train as long as her legacy flowing behind her? Maybe you were one of the 750 million people who watched her wedding live on television, and took note of her trendsetting giant sleeves and even bigger bouquet? Diana’s bouquet cascaded almost to the floor, and contained what seemed like every white flower available, including gardenia, roses, lily of the valley, myrtle, and veronica.

Kate Middleton and Prince William, 2011: Perhaps the biggest royal wedding since Diana’s, Kate set the trend for modern brides. Lacy sleeves, understated beauty, and a petite bouquet of lily of the valley, myrtle, and sweet william – as you would expect when she tied the knot with her own Sweet William.

Pippa Middleton and James Matthews: Okay, we know this may not technically be a “royal wedding,” but with the royal family in attendance, and even participating in wedding duties, we will count this one in the books. Pippa followed in her big sister’s footsteps with a small white bouquet, hers consisted of lilies, peonies, and sweet peas.


Brown Floral Can Give You The Wedding Of Your Dreams

Although many British brides have opted to follow the trends of the royals with white bouquets, stateside brides are all about expressing their personalities. Whether you want to look like Kate and Pippa with understated white bouquets, or have a bouquet with every color of the rainbow to match your uniqueness, or anything in between, Brown Floral wants to help. We love working with our Salt Lake city brides, and brides all over the country, to make their vision a reality on their wedding day. Even if you aren’t marrying into the royal family, we still want you to feel like a queen on your special day.

photo #1- Pippa and James

photo #2- Queen Victoria 

photo #3- Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillips

photo #4- Princess Diana and Prince Charles

photo #5- Prince Anne and Captain Mark Phillips

photo #5-Kate Middleton and Prince William

photo #6- Pippa





Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *