As much of the world continues to mourn the loss of Queen Elizabeth II, the late monarch’s coffin has returned to Westminster Abbey for the state funeral. As the Queen was shown through the church, many eyes were drawn to the beautiful wreath on her coffin, and it turned out that the flowers do indeed have a profound meaning: alongside rosemary, English moss and oak, the wreath contained myrtle, which grown directly from the very branch used in the Queen’s wedding bouquet of 1947.
The rest of the foliage in the wreath was similarly symbolic. Rosemary represents fidelity and remembrance, and pedunculate oak is used as a sign of love’s strength. (Couples used to marry under English oaks to strengthen their love.) Myrtle, on the other hand, signifies love and a happy marriage. Ultimately, the wreath is a tribute to the Queen’s 73-year marriage to Prince Philip.
“At the request of His Majesty the King, the wreath includes flowers and foliage cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Highgrove House,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement ahead of Monday’s funeral. “Also included are: fragrant geraniums, garden roses, autumn hydrangeas, sedum, dahlias and scabious, all in shades of gold, pink and deep burgundy, with touches of white to reflect the royal standard on which she sits.”
To ensure that the wreath lasts as long as possible, the Queen’s son, now King Charles III, also specifically requested that the flower arrangement be produced sustainably without any floral foam. As a finishing touch, the new king left his mother a note on the wreath that read: “In loving and devoted memory – Charles R.” Following the funeral, Queen Elizabeth will be buried with her husband in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.