Meghan Markle’s bouquet followed a sentimental royal tradition today.
The bouquet — filled with Forget-Me-Nots (Princess Diana’s favorite flower), scented sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine and astrantia, and sprigs of myrtle, and blooms picked from the gardens at Kensington Palace by Prince Harry himself — was placed on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey on Sunday.
In doing so, Meghan is following a royal tradition that dates back nearly a century, starting with Queen Elizabeth’s mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, who became the Duchess of York (and later Queen Elizabeth) when she married the future King George VI (then the Duke of York) in 1923.
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As she made her way into Westminster Abbey for her wedding ceremony, she — without previous intention to do so — laid her bouquet on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior (also called the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior), in memory of her older brother Fergus Bowes-Lyon, who was killed in action in the Battle of Loos in 1915 during World War I.
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Since then, nearly every major royal bride has had her bouquet placed at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior, whether they married at Westminster Abbey or not. Queen Elizabeth did, as did her sister Princess Margaret in 1960 and her cousin Princess Alexandra in 1963. In the next generation, Princess Anne, Princess Diana, Sarah, Duchess of York and Sophie, Countess of Wessex carried on the tradition in 1973, 1981, 1986 and 1999, respectively. Kate Middleton did it following her wedding in 2011, too.
Westminster Abbey shared a photo of Meghan’s bouquet on the grave, which houses the body of an unknown soldier who died during World War I, on Twitter.