The secret meaning behind the flowers on Her Majesty's coffin

·3-min read
Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

If you – like millions, if not billions, across the globe – tuned in to watch Queen Elizabeth II's funeral, then you'll no doubt be wondering about the special, secret, details of this historic day.

From the sweet tribute to Prince Philip during the funeral service, to the significance of what will be written on Her Majesty's gravestone and questions about what will happen to her priceless jewellery, there is so much to take in as we bid farewell to Britain's longest-serving monarch.

Another question we've found ourselves asking this morning, is centred around the flowers placed atop Her Majesty's coffin. The Royal Standard is draped across the coffin, and alongside the monarch's Crown and Sceptre (which are sitting on a velvet cushion) is a pink bouquet.

Accompanying the bouquet is a card from the King which Royal Editor of ITV news Chris Ship, reports reads: "In loving and devoted memory. Charles R"

But, whilst flowers at a funeral are a common sight, there's actually a very special meaning behind why these flowers were chosen for Queen Elizabeth II's funeral.

Meaning behind the flowers on Her Majesty's coffin

Since Her Majesty passed away on 8 September, there have been a number of different bouquets placed upon her coffin, here we take a look at the symbolism behind each one.

Flowers on 19 September

Perhaps the most significant of all the flowers, the bouquet selected for Her Majesty's funeral (pictured above) includes a touching tribute to her late husband, Prince Philip, who passed away last year. As is royal tradition, the Queen's wedding bouquet in 1947 featured sprigs of myrtle – which can also be seen in the bouquet atop her coffin today.

Other flowers in the arrangement include asiatic lilies, gladioli, alstroemeria, eustoma and foliage of English oak and weeping birch – in addition to the symbolic sprigs of myrtle.

'At the King's request, the wreath contains foliage of rosemary, English oak and myrtle (cut from a plant grown from myrtle in the Queen's wedding bouquet) and flowers, in shades of gold, pink and deep burgundy, with touches of white, cut from the gardens of Royal Residences,' a tweet from the Royal Family confirmed.

Flowers on 14 September

Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images
Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images

During the procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, a white wreath was seen on Her Majesty's coffin. The wreath was composed of pine from the gardens at Balmoral and lavender from Windsor, according to The Independent and also included white roses, dahlias, rosemary and pittosporum.

Typically, white roses are regarded to symbolise innocence and reverence.

Flowers on 12 September

Just days after the Queen's passing, her coffin traveled along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh and was adorned with a wreath made up of dahlias, sweet peas, phlox, white heather and pine fir – all of which were gathered from the monarch's Balmoral estate.

The Daily Mail reported that the bouquet also included white and green spray roses, freesias, button chrysanthemums, dried heather, spray eryngium, foliage, rosemary, hebe and pittosporum. This arrangement was another sweet nod to Prince Philip.

According to HELLO!, the Queen personally selected the wreath that was placed on his coffin in April 2021, which featured white lilies, roses, freesia, wax flower, jasmine and sweet peas, the last of which represent farewells and departures.

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