Royals have a tradition for everything – even their greenery!
In her wedding bouquet, Princess Kate carried a sprig of myrtle, a tradition that dates back 177 years to the time of Queen Victoria. The sprig comes from a tree in the lower terrace at Osborne House, one of Victoria’s favorite retreats, located on the Isle of Wight.
Since Victoria’s own wedding in 1840, myrtle — which symbolizes love — from that same tree has been used in the bouquets of numerous royal brides. And now, for the first time, the tree will be open to visitors, reports the Telegraph.
As part of a £600,000 ($766,737) English Heritage restoration project, the lower terrace at Osborne House has been revamped and readied to welcome visitors, a process that’s been going on since 1986, when a charity took possession of the house. After Queen Victoria’s death, it had been used as a naval college and a convalescent home.
FROM PEN: What’s Next for Princess Charlotte
Now, the seaside getaway has been restored and is ready for visitors to take a peek at Queen Victoria‘s escape.
“Everything in great beauty,” Victoria wrote of the terrace in a July 17, 1853 diary entry. “The roses out in profusion on the lower Terraces. The new fountain there is beautiful.”
Besides the royal myrtle plant, which Victoria brought back from Germany after receiving it as a gift from the grandmother of her husband, Prince Albert, visitors will also see a hand-painted shell alcove, and the Andromeda fountain, which Victoria herself purchased at the Great Exhibition in 1851.