Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Symbolism of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral flowers

Thanks again to Jane Lawson who has sent an article from entitled ‘What does the wreath on the Queen’s coffin mean?  The symbolism behind the funeral flower display explained’.

According to this King Charles selected the flowers to be included in the wreath placed on his mother’s coffin for her state funeral on 19 September 2022.  These included contributions from Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Highgrove House, among them ‘myrtle [Myrtus communis] cut from a plant was grown from a sprig used in the Queen’s wedding bouquet’.  The king also selected rosemary [Salvia rosmarinus, syn. Rosmarinus officinalis] for remembrance, and English oak [Quercus robur]* ‘to symbolise the strength of love’.  Other flowers were in ‘shades of gold, pink and deep burgundy, with touches of white, to reflect the Royal Standard’.  ‘The wreath was made in a sustainable way ‘in a nest of English moss and oak branches, with no floral foam’.

A very similar article, obviously derived from the same press release, appeared in the Metro of 20 September.   It reports that the wreath contained ‘pelargoniums, roses (including a commemorative Queen Elizabeth rose, bred in 1954 in honour of her coronation), autumnal hydrangea, sedum, dahlias and scabious’, and concludes with gushing comments from a florist, who claims that ‘those in Westminster Abbey would have noticed the fragrance of the roses and rosemary’.

*From an examination of images of the wreath it appears that Turkey oak, Quercus cerris, rather than English oak, Q. robur, was used.

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