Billions of people across the globe will be watching coverage of the Queen’s funeral today as tributes continue to pour in to the late monarch.
An incredible level of attention to detail has been shown throughout the proceedings, including the meanings behind the flowers chosen for the funeral wreath. Many of the flowers came from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, and Highgrove House, and were requested by His Majesty King Charles III.
All flowers follow the colours of the Royal Standard; gold, pink, white, and burgundy.
In England, the oak is a longstanding symbol of strength, and the strength of love. In the 1600s, couples were often wed under an oak tree, and are sacred to Druids, who believe catching a falling oak leaf brings good luck and prosperity.
Traditionally gathered and burned around the feast of St. John, these are said to be a protection from evil spirits, with a sweet amber scent.
Part of royal tradition, myrtle is an ancient symbol for a happy marriage. Myrtle featured in the Queen’s wedding bouquet in 1947, and was used to create a plant at one of the Royal Residences, where today’s cuttings are from.
Fir trees as a whole represent a time of positive movement, going forward to meet the challenges that are presented to us. In Celtic symbolism, they represent friendship.
Is often thought of as being used to represent remembrance. This is due to the belief of herbalists for its benefits for memory. Rosemary was also featured in the King’s first TV address to the nation, in a small silver vase next to a picture of the Queen, accompanied by sweet peas.
This foliage is included for its representation of rebirth, new beginnings, and growth. Traditionally in midsummer, branches were hung around doors of houses to protect those living there against evil.
Also known as the Peruvian lily, alstroemeria brings colours throughout the summer and into autumn as perennials and represent devotion and friendship. Chosen to commemorate the Queen’s dedication to her role.
Lilies are often used in wreaths for funerals, as well as in wedding bouquets, and Asiatic lilies represent marriage, purity, love, and spirituality.
The deep reds of the autumnal hydrangea nestle perfectly amongst the arrangement. Carrying different meanings over time, the Japanese associate the flower with gratitude and understanding.
Signifying a long lasting bond, these are included in memory to Prince Philip and their commitment to one another throughout their lives.
Also known as the lisianthus, these flowers symbolise feelings of happiness and joy, but also appreciation. It was a popular ‘love charm’ in Ancient Greece.
Like many of the flowers within the wreath, pink roses represent appreciation and gratitude, as well as admiration and sympathy. Lilac roses are included too, which symbolise eternity and long life.
In season in September, the gladioli symbolises honour and remembrance, a fitting tribute to Her Majesty’s life of service. Other interpreted meanings include strength of character, faithfulness, sincerity, and integrity.
A colourful symbol of friendship, happiness, and positive emotions. Also known as geraniums, they’re an elegant species with over 400 species and hundreds of years of history.
Often used to represent wishes for sweet dreams, a fitting inclusion in a funeral arrangement, as well as harmony, unity, partnership, and agreement.
Known as a ‘cottage garden classic’, it’s a favourite of the butterflies! Its sweet scent has resulted in modern interpretations of its meaning to represent pure love, whereas sweet scabious traditionally represented death or widows.
The meaning of these clusters of tiny flowers comes from how they hold up to difficult conditions, they can keep growing at peace with themselves and in adverse conditions, as well as symbolising eternal enduring love.
Often known as the Queen’s favourite flower, these are strongly associated with the idea of departures and goodbyes. Sweet peas are also the birth flower of April, her own birth month. They also mean good wishes, kindness, and friendship.
This has been used in the wreath for its representation of good luck and protection. Growing across Scotland, the home of the Queen’s beloved Balmoral, in folklore it is said it grows upon the resting place of a faerie.
King Charles III requested the wreath be made sustainably, hence the use of seasonal flowers grown in royal gardens, and without the use of floral foam - English moss used in its place to retain moisture and keep the flowers fresh throughout the day. He has also requested the wreath be buried with her at Windsor this evening.
The wreath was topped with a hand-written note from King Charles III reading “In loving and devoted memory”. A beautiful send-off for someone who played a huge part in our country’s history.