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Coronation? That must mean floral speculation!

The King's coronation is only weeks away and aside from wondering who will/won’t attend, the next big question is of course, what flowers and plants will be chosen to decorate this prestigious occasion and how will it be achieved?


The King’s passion for sustainability will without doubt be the key, so expect everything to be sourced from the UK and more specifically the grounds of the royal residences and parks. Doubtless there will be no floral foam used either, so it will be interesting to study or at least speculate on the mechanics that will be used.


All Four Corners

For her coronation, Queen Elizabeth II carried a bouquet of all white flowers, with orchids representing England and Wales, stephanotis Scotland, and carnations for Northern Ireland. The king is unlikely to carry a bouquet, (although the Queen may), so it will be more of a challenge to incorporate the UK’s national flowers.


As red is part of the official coronation emblem (free to download from www.royal.uk) we can expect both red and white roses representing England. Eryngium is perfect for the Scottish thistle, with sprigs of shamrock for Northern Ireland. For Wales it is of course the daffodil; paperwhites would be ideal, and if grown on the Isles of Scilly, even better.


The King’s Favourites

Delphiniums

In 2020 Prince Charles, as he was then, revealed that these statuesque flowers were one of his favourites, describing them as ‘magnificent’ and that they had ‘impeccable bearing’ holding pride of place in his horticultural affections.


Bluebells

At Highgrove, the King has nurtured a wildflower meadow, so expect to see similar flowers at the Abbey, perhaps bluebells – not Spanish of course - nor the real thing as it would be off-message to be seen digging up wild bluebells for the ceremony, but Scilla, grown in the UK would be an excellent alternative.



Lily of the Valley

A favourite with the royal family, this diminutive, scented flower was included in the Princess of Wales' (formerly the Duchess of Cambridge’s) wedding bouquet, and in both Queen Elizabeth’s wedding and coronation flowers.


And finally…how to impress inside the Abbey

In 2011, when the then Duke and Duchess of Cambridge married, they got round the problematic issue of filling such a large space by having an avenue of trees inside the building. Up to 6m tall, they were a mix of English Field Maples and Hornbeams, all from Windsor Great Park. This could well be repeated for the coronation.

However the flowers are arranged, it’s going to be a magnificent occasion, look out for the Trade Club’s floral assessment after the event.


Images Envato Elements/Royal.uk

 

Su Whale is a florist and freelance writer with over twenty-five years' experience in the floristry industry. She is the author and publisher of three best-selling books: Cut Flowers, 4th edition (2020) Cut Foliage, 2nd Edition, (2021) and Houseplants (2019), all bookshelf essentials for the professional florist.

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