Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Commemoration of King Charles 1, 2019 – 2

Wreaths placed on the plinth of the equestrian statue of King Charles I, just south of Trafalgar Square, in Whitehall, City of Westminster, 30 January 2019, the anniversary of his execution on 30 January 1649.

The uppermost wreath has no card attached to it, the lower three have cards reading: ‘From the Order of the Crown of Stuart’, ‘From the Governor-General and Members of the Royal Stuart Society’, and ‘From the Memorial of Merit of King Charles the Martyr’.

Perhaps the predominance of white flowers in the lower wreaths can be explained by the fact that Charles was known as the White King.  According to the service sheet used at the service held in ‘Commemoration of the Martyrdom of King Charles I’, held at the Banqueting House, in Whitehall, each year, at the internment of Charles’ body in St George’s Chapel Windsor, on 9 February 1649:

‘A sudden fall of snow, which occurred as the coffin was borne from St George’s Hall … in the Castle, out into the Chapel, spread as it were a white pall over the coffin.  Thus the White King, so named because he had worn white robes instead of the usual purple at his Coronation on 2 February, 1626, when also he had taken the oath to defend the Church of England, now went white to his burial.’

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