The thoughtful details in Her Majesty’s vibrant funeral flowers

The Queen's funeral wreath


During the Queen’s funeral service, blooms in shades of deep burgundy, pink, and gold were placed among lush green foliage to decorate the coffin. The vibrant flowers and plants were picked for their symbolic meaning and were taken from the gardens of royal residences.

The wreath for Her Majesty’s funeral included flowers and leaves picked from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, and Highgrove House in London at the request of King Charles III.

It had plants chosen for their symbolic qualities:
  1. Rosemary as a symbol of memory – Rosemary has long been a symbol of memory.
  2. A myrtle branch from a plant that was cultivated from a sprig of myrtle from The Queen’s 1947 wedding bouquet, the ancient emblem of a happy marriage.
  3. The English oak, a symbol of power and perseverance that honors the Queen and her unwavering devotion. It also represents the power of love.

A handwritten letter with the words “In love and loyal memory, Charles R.” was tucked amid the flowers.

The Queen's coffin is carried into Westminster Abbey

IMAGE: REUTERS The Imperial State Crown, and the Sovereign’s orb and scepter, were on top of the coffin with the wreath

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View of The Queen's coffin from above in Westminster Abbey

IMAGE: REUTERS The Queen’s coffin was carried into Westminster Abbey

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Handwritten card on the wreath read: "In loving and devoted memory, Charles R"

IMAGE: ALAMY The handwritten card from King Charles: “In loving and devoted memory, Charles R”

In order to mimic the hues of the Royal Standard flag on which it was displayed, the flowers in the Queen’s funeral wreath included perfumed pelargoniums, garden roses, autumnal hydrangea, sedum, dahlias, and scabious in tones of gold, pink, and deep burgundy with hints of white.

The colors of the flowers can also be chosen to mirror a flag, as was the case on Monday, according to Gemma Kavanagh of London florist Moyses Stevens. Royal funeral wreaths have historically been somber, in white and green tones.

King Charles is renowned for his dedication to the environment, and at his request, the wreath was fashioned in a sustainable manner by using English moss and oak branches to build a nest instead of floral foam.

Because herbalists believed rosemary was beneficial for memory, it has long been associated with remembrance, according to Prof. Fiona Stafford, author of The Brief Life of Flowers. “But rosemary is also connected to feelings of love and devotion, and it was traditionally used in wedding bouquets, funeral sprigs, and graves. Therefore, it’s a really, really fitting one to be included in the wreath “she claims.

When the King delivered his first TV speech to the country, Rosemary was also mentioned. A picture of his mother stood to one side of him, and to the other was a tiny silver vase filled with sweet peas and rosemary sprigs.

The gardeners at Buckingham Palace would send up a new posy of flowers for the Queen’s desk each Monday when she was at home because she enjoyed fresh flowers from her garden. The Queen enjoyed primroses, lilies of the valley, and other humble blossoms much more than complex exotics, which tells volumes about her nature, according to gardener Alan Titchmarsh.

Lily-of-the-valley illustration
White wreaths

Contrary to the colorful wreath on Monday, the Queen’s coffin was topped with more conventional white funeral wreaths as it traveled from Balmoral through Edinburgh to Westminster Hall in London. All, however, included individual flowers picked from royal gardens.

Dahlias, sweet peas, phlox, white heather, and pine fir were were gathered by the Queen’s staff from the Balmoral Estate for the wreath that escorted the Queen’s coffin as it departed Balmoral Castle. The sweet peas were an exact replica of the flowers the Queen had chosen for her husband Prince Philip’s wreath in 2021.

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth to a hearse, outside St Giles' Cathedral, in Edinburgh

IMAGE: REUTERS The wreath on top of Her Majesty’s coffin in Scotland was more white

When she was lying in state in Westminster Hall, the wreath included pine from the gardens at Balmoral – and pittosporum, lavender and rosemary from the gardens at Windsor.

Flowers on top of the coffin in Westminster Hall

IMAGE: REUTERS Flowers on top of the coffin in Westminster Hall

On Monday, the Queen and Prince Philip were laid to rest in Windsor’s King George VI Memorial Chapel. In St. George’s Chapel, flowers included:

Dahlia “Caro,” Dahlia “Maarten Zwaan,” Bouvardia “Royal white,” Longiflorum lilies “Watch up,” Eusroma “Rosita” (Lisianthus), and Rose “Avalanche.”

With greenery: Soft ruscus, Eucalyptus “Popules Bes,” and other flora selected from Home Park.

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  1. I agree with your point of view, your article has given me a lot of help and benefited me a lot. Thanks. Hope you continue to write such excellent articles.

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