5 Ways The King's Love of Flowers Was Incorporated into the Coronation
King Charles is known for his passion for all things green, so we were expecting some serious flower power at the coronation and boy, he didn't disappoint! Here are five ways the King's love of flowers and his commitment to sustainability were incorporated into the historic event.
The invitations to the King’s coronation were the first clue that flowers would play a symbolic role in the ceremony. A British wildflower meadow bordered the design and showcased the best of British springtime; cornflowers, bluebells, dog roses and that firm royal favourite, lily of the valley. The Green Man, wearing a crown of natural foliage and symbolic of spring and rebirth, was also central to the design.
The flowers at Westminster Abbey
Royal fans were treated to a glimpse of Westminster Abbey the night before when footage of the ancient naves adorned with flowers was shared on The Royal Family instagram account. "The stage is set" read the caption. It showed the Abbey, which would play host to over two thousand guests, decorated with flowers including spectacular hellebores - a flower that the King wore on his wedding day to Camilla in 2005. Honeysuckle, tulips, jasmine, rananculus and aquilegia (an ancient symbol of the Holy Spirit) also featured in the spectacular designs, created by florist Shane Connolly and Co. The colour rich palette - golds, burgundies, purples and pinks - influenced by both the hues of the High Altar and ceremonial robes.
All flowers (an impressive 120 varieties!) were provided by Flowers from the Farm, a non-profit organisation that champions British growers, with foliage from for the High Altar being gifted by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and, in line with the King's commitment to sustainability all the arrangements were free of floral foam and single use plastics.
Many British landmarks got the royal treatment ahead of the ceremony. Our favourite was Big Ben which was lit up in a stunning display in honour of the King. Flowers representing each of the four nations – the rose (England), thistle (Scotland), daffodil (Wales) and Shamrock (Ireland) were projected onto the iconic clock tower.
The Princess of Wales' coronation style
We’d heard rumours that The Princess of Wales would be shunning a tiara in favour of a flower crown for the King’s coronation which would have been a significant break with tradition. On the day the Princess chose to wear not fresh flowers but an exquisite headdress by Jess Collett x Alexander McQueen with nods to the natural world. It featured silver bullion, crystal and silver thread work and three-dimensional leaf embroidery. She also donned an elegant crepe gown on which the four floral emblems of the four nations was embroidered.
True to his commitment to sustainability, the King was keen to ensure none of the decor from the day went to waste. After the event, the flowers were to be donated to Floral Angels, a charity which repurposes arrangements from events to share with care homes and hospices and of which Queen Camilla is the patron.
What did you think of the coronation flowers? Let us know in the usual social media places.