Welsh Gold and Queen Victoria's Myrtle: Will Meghan Markle Honor Royal Wedding Traditions?
The Herb of Love
Every royal bride since 1858 has carried a sprig of myrtle — the “herb of love” — in her wedding bouquet. The tradition started when Queen Victoria was gifted a posy of myrtle flowers by Prince Albert’s grandmother in 1845. She loved the delicate white flowers so much, she planted a sprig in her garden at Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight. A German tradition to signify the innocence of the bride, Victoria’s eldest daughter, Princess Victoria was the first British royal bride to carry myrtle in her wedding bouquet in 1858. Surprisingly, the same myrtle bush is still flourishing, 173 years later. “We take very good care of it,” a spokesperson for Osborne House tells PEOPLE.
The Rare Welsh Gold
Meghan favors gold as her jewelry of choice so it will be no surprise if she chooses the royal stash of Welsh gold for her wedding band. The royal family have been using pure Welsh gold for their wedding rings ever since the Queen Mother’s wedding in 1923. “The tradition of using Welsh gold for the royal wedding rings is one that we hope to see continue when Prince Harry marries Meghan Markle next month,” Ben Roberts, Managing Director of Clogau tells PEOPLE. And as the Queen was gifted a kilogram of Clogau gold on her 60th birthday, there’s plenty to go around.
Bouquet of Remembrance
While most brides honor the tradition of throwing the bouquet, Meghan’s floral posy (by Phillippa Craddock) will very likely end up in Westminster Abbey, rather than in the hands of one of her bridesmaids. Most royal brides (including Kate Middleton and Princess Diana) have sent their floral bouquets back to the Abbey to rest on the Grave of the Unknown Soldier, a place of remembrance for fallen soldiers since 1920. This tradition was also started by the Queen Mother on her wedding day as a tribute to her brother who had been killed during World War I in 1915. With Prince Harry’s 10-year Army career and his passion for helping wounded servicemen, we would imagine this one is definitely for keeps.
The royal wedding will take place at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, on May 19.