Kate Middleton will follow royal tradition when she walks down the aisle to marry Prince William by carrying a sprig of myrtle in her bridal bouquet, according to news sources. Though the custom of the wedding flower bouquet varies in different countries, brides have long carried bridal bouquets, herb bunches, garlands or wreaths as symbolic gestures.
“In ancient Hebrew times, myrtle was a symbol of marriage. As a Victorian symbol, myrtle symbolizes fidelity and is thought to bring good luck – an emblem of everlasting love, marital bliss, and desire,” wrote Kenzy England.
Kate Middleton will incorporate royal tradition dating back to the 19th century with Queen Victoria – “a sprig of myrtle from the tree that still grows today in Victoria’s personal garden at her palace by the sea, Osborne House at Isle of Wight.” Once called the nose gay or tussie mussie, the bridal bouquet rose in popularity during Queen Victoria’s reign. In the Victorian era, it became customary for brides to save a sprig of myrtle or ivy from the bridal bouquet and plant it to be used for generations to come.
Queen Victoria planted the fragrant myrtle and all royal brides in her family, including Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana of Wales, have carried a sprig of myrtle on their wedding day. Kate Middleton will embrace the royal wedding tradition with her bridal bouquet. Sources say she will also place her nose gay on the Unknown Warrior’s grave in Westminster Abbey, just as Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana did.
The myrtle flower consists of about two species native to areas of North Africa and southern Europe. The myrtle flower grows from a small tree or shrub that sprouts shiny, whole leaves and mostly white blossoms. The flowers themselves are generally small and contain five sepals and petals, as well as several stamens. Myrtle is most known for its place in mythology and though it has many uses, myrtle is often used in flower bouquets or nose gays.
The royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is set for April 29.