Celebration – Two Kennedy Weddings

Caroline and Ed at the church 10  JFK wedding - the church 1

This post is about two Kennedy weddings … the first wedding is Caroline Kennedy to Edwin Schlossberg and ten years later the second wedding is John F. Kennedy, Jr. to Carolyn Bessette.  But, before we start, let’s briefly discuss the immediate family of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline “Jackie” Bouvier Kennedy (later Onassis).

Many readers will remember the children of President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline from when they lived in the White House.  At the time of their father’s inauguration in January 1961 the children were very young and tragically, less than three years later President Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963.  (I have a very vivid image of young “John-John” saluting his father’s casket).  Sadly, John-John would celebrate his third birthday on the day of his father’s funeral and Caroline would turn six years old a few days later.

Kennedy family in the White House  President Kennedy funeral

After leaving the White House and Washington D.C., Jackie moved her two children to New York City to raise them away from the glare of the public and the press.  Then five years later, with the assassination of Robert Kennedy in 1968 and Jackie’s subsequent marriage to Aristotle Onassis later that same year, the family would lead an even more closed life.  As the years passed, Caroline and John grew into well-behaved and responsible adults, graduating school and moving onto careers.

Sadly, Jackie lived to see only one of her children married.  Caroline wed Edwin Schlossberg in 1986.  The couple had three children; Rose born in 1988, Tatiana in 1990 and John in 1993.  In late 1993, Jackie was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and went through chemotherapy but the cancer spread to other parts of her body and she died on May 18, 1994.  Two years later, John Jr. married Carolyn Bessette in 1996.  Unfortunately, tragedy stuck the family again on July 16, 1999 when John Jr., Carolyn and her sister Laurel died in a plane crash.  Today, the last surviving member of the immediate family of President Kennedy is Caroline Kennedy who was most recently appointed as the ambassador to Japan in July 2013 by President Obama.

Jackie Kennedy Onassis funeral  John Kerry swears in Caroline Kennedy as U.S. Ambassador to Japa

Schlossberg family

Wedding of Caroline Kennedy and Edwin Schlossberg

Date: July 19, 1986  Place: Church of Our Lady of Victory in Centerville, Massachusetts

Caroline Kennedy and Edwin Schlossberg met in 1981 when both were working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York.  Caroline had a job in the Film and Television Department and Ed was working as an exhibit designer.  The couple dated for several years and became engaged in March 1986 with a wedding set a few months later with most of the planning to be done by Jackie Kennedy Onassis, the mother of the bride.

The couple was married at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Centerville, Massachusetts. on July 19, 1986. (which was also the groom’s 41st birthday)  Many of the details of the wedding were keep secret in order to protect the privacy of the bridal couple.  It is known that there were 400 guests invited to the ceremony and the reception which followed at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port located six miles away from the church.  In addition to the numerous Kennedy family members and Schlossberg family there were several former aides of the Kennedy presidential administration; such as Arthur Schlesinger, Theodore Sorensen, Dave Powers and John Kenneth Galbraith.

Security was tight on the day of the wedding and that morning a crowd of 2,000 people had gathered in the small town on the streets outside the church.  Caroline, who was 28 years old, arrived with Senator Edward Kennedy, her beloved uncle that would escort her down the aisle.  John Kennedy Jr., the brother of the bride, was the best man and Maria Shriver Schwarzenegger, her cousin, was the matron of honor.  (The photos below show the bridal party arriving at the church, one photo taken just before the ceremony was to start shows Caroline gestured for the crowd to be quiet!)

Caroline and John  Shushing the crowd 2

Caroline collaborated with Carolina Herrera to design her wedding dress.  The white silk organza dress featured a round neck, short sleeves, a full skirt flowing into a twenty-five foot train and a long bodice covered with embroidered white shamrocks, which were the bride’s sentimental tribute to her father’s Irish ancestry.  On her head the bride wore a large bow with a long tulle veil attached, she wore carried a small bouquet of white phaleonopsis orchids and she “borrowed” diamond and pearl earring which had original been a gift from her father to her mother.  The groom wore a Willi Smith navy blue linen suit, a silver tie and a boutonniere of stephanotis.  The matron of honor and seven bridesmaids wore white and lavender floral print dress with wreaths cornflower bouquets and more cornflowers in their hair and the two flower girls wore white organdy pinafore dresses with pale blue sashes, cornflowers were President Kennedy’s favorite flowers. The best man and ten ushers wore blue linen blazers, white linen trousers, gray linen ties and cornflower boutonnieres.  The mother of the bride looked lovely wearing a pale green crepe dress with long sleeves and a narrow skirt designed by Herrera and long white gloves.

Caroline and Ed at the church 1  Jackie Kennedy Onassiss and Ted Kennedy

For the wedding ceremony, the inside of the church was decorated simply with several potted bay trees behind the altar and around the church, as well as floral arrangements of delphinium, white lilies, cornflowers and Queen Anne’s lace.  Across the altar was a garland of oak leaves and small bunches of wild roses and honeysuckle were tied on the pews.  After the service, Caroline and Ed exited the church, briefly posed for photographs and then left for the reception in a silver limousine.  John Jr. blew his sister a kiss from the steps of the church and standing nearby Jackie held back tears as she clung onto the arm of Ted Kennedy.

The wedding reception was held at the oceanfront home of the bride’s 95 year old grandmother in Hyannis Port.  Under a large white tent decorated with blue pennants the wedding dinner menu included cold pea soup with mint, vegetable vinaigrette, roast chicken with rice, beef sirloin.  The wedding cake was a four-tiered yellow cake with a chocolate filling and white icing which was served with a vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream.  At the reception there were several toasts but perhaps the most poignant moment was when John Jr. raised is glass and said, “It’s been the three of us for so long … and now there is a fourth” and then he warmly welcomed Ed to the family.  To end the evening there was a wonderful fireworks display.  Later Caroline and Ed left for their honeymoon in Hawaii and Japan.  

(Shown below is a more recent photo of Caroline Kennedy and Ed Schlossberg)

Caroline and John10

Wedding of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette

Date: September 21, 1996  Place: Brack Chapel on Cumberland Island, Georgia

John F. Kennedy and Carolyn Bessette first met in 1992.  After they began dating in 1994, the good looking couple was photographed constantly and every detail of their relationship was reported in the press while the couple tried to live their lives quietly in the Tribeca loft that they had moved into in the summer of 1995.  By this time, John had left his job as a prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office to begin a career as the co-owner and editor of “George” magazine.  John’s goal for the magazine, which would focus on politics, was to present topics in an entertaining way which would create public interest and subsequent involvement in the political process.  At the time that Carolyn met John, she had been working for Calvin Klein but she later left her position with the company shortly after their engagement.          

John managed to keep his wedding to Carolyn a complete secret from the intrusive press by marrying on the exclusive Cumberland Island off the coast of Georgia on September 21, 1996.  The ceremony took place in the evening at the tiny wooden structure known as the Brack Chapel of the First African Baptist Church attended by only 40 guests who included the immediate families of the bridal couple and a few close friends, a reception immediately followed the wedding ceremony at the Greyfield Inn also located on Cumberland Island.

JFK wedding - the men

The wedding officiant was Reverend Charles O’Byrne who had traveled from the St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church in Manhattan to perform the ceremony.  Since the service took place in the evening and because the small church had no electricity, the inside was light by candles and kerosene lamps.  A small wooden stand served as the altar and it was decorated with greenery, the only other decoration was a cross made from two pieces of wood tied together with rope.  The ceremony was very short with several members of the bridal couple’s families giving scripture readings, also “Amazing Grace” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” hymns were performed by gospel singer David Davis.

wedding1  JFK wedding - the church 1

Shown on the right is the famous photo taken by Denis Reggie of the newlyweds leaving the church, John is gallantly kissing Carolyn’s hand as she beams with joy!

The beautiful bride worked with the relatively new designer, Narcisco Rodriquez, in creating a “pearl white” silk crepe biased-cut floor-length gown which she wore with a tulle silk veil and long silk gloves, she wore beaded sating Manolo Blahnik sandals.  Carolyn wore her hair in a simple bun at the nape of her neck and attached a tulle silk veil with a “borrowed” clip that once belonged to the groom’s deceased mother, Jackie Kennedy Onassis.  Carolyn carried a lily of the valley bouquet.   

The handsome groom wore a Gordon Henderson dark blue wool single-breasted suit with a white pique vest and a pale blue tie.  Much like his sister did 10 years earlier; the groom honored his father, President John F. Kennedy, by wearing his wristwatch.  Anthony Radziwill, the groom’s cousin, was the best man and Caroline Kennedy, the groom’s sister, was the matron of honor and she wore a navy blue crepe silk gown designed by Narcisco Rodriquez.  Jack Schlossberg, the groom’s nephew, was the ring bearer and Rose and Tatiana Schlossberg, the groom’s nieces, were flower girls and they wore tea-length white linen dresses.

After the wedding ceremony, the bridal couple and their guests went to Greyfield Inn for a reception.  The dinner menu featured shrimp, artichokes and grill swordfish.  The wedding cake was a three tiered whit cake with vanilla butter cream frosting decorated with flowers.  They couple later honeymooned in Turkey and had a ten day cruise on the Aegean Sea aboard the “Althea”.

In the years following the wedding, John and Carolyn were constantly scrutinized in the press and frequently photographed as a glamourous couple attending functions in both New York City and sometimes Washington D.C.  The fashionable Carolyn has a distinct classic minimalist style and she was often compared to her mother-in-law, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, who she had unfortunately never met before the former First Lady’s death in 1994.   The photo below shows the couple in May 1999.

John and Carolyn

Sadly on July 16, 1999 John, Carolyn and her sister Lauren died in a plane crash over the Atlantic Ocean while on route to Martha’s Vineyard.  John had been the pilot of the small plane and it was later determined that the probable cause of the tragic accident was “pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane during a descent over water at night most likely the result of spatial disorientation”.  The bodies were eventually recovered a few days later and on July 22 a memorial service took place aboard a Naval ship, USS Briscoe, and their ashes were scattered into the waters off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard.

In the end, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg is the only living member of President John Kennedy immediate family, the last link to the fabled modern day Camelot.

If you are interested in more detailed information on the wedding of John Kennedy and Jaqueline Bouvier, please click on the link.  Two other posts of interest are: Jackie Kennedy – her White House Dresses and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

Celebration – British Royal Wedding Cakes

Previous posts on this blog discussed several of the British Royal Weddings, starting with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1840 to the most recent wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011 while another post discussed the dresses of each of the British Royal brides.  (For more detailed information about the British Royal Weddings and the British Royal Wedding Dress, please click on the links)

In this post, I will start by discussing several of the British Royal Wedding Cakes made throughout the years starting once again with Queen Victoria’s wedding to the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.  Then, in closing I will discuss the history of wedding cakes including the meanings the various traditions and customs.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

The wedding of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert took place in the Chapel Royal at St. James Palace on February 10, 1840.  Afterwards, there was a wedding breakfast at Buckingham Palace were several cakes set out at the wedding breakfast, the main cake was a single layer about three yards in circumference and fourteen inches in height, it was noted to weigh approximately 300 pounds.  The cake was covered in white icing and decorated with several figurines and other floral embellishments.  The cake top was almost a foot in height and featured a Britannia figurine and another figurine representing Queen Victoria on the right with a pair of turtle doves at her feet, while on the left was a figurine representing Prince Albert with a dog at his feet.  A cupid figurine appears to be writing the date of marriage into a book and there a several additional cupids bearing the emblems of the United Kingdom.  A photo of the cake is shown below.

Queen Victoria wedding cake

Prince Edward and Princess Alexandra of Denmark

Prince Edward (later King Edward VII) and Princess Alexandra were married at St. George Chapel in Windsor Castle on March 10, 1863.  A wedding breakfast for five hundred guests was held afterwards to honor the bridal couple. Like his mother before him, several wedding cakes were made for the reception with the main wedding cake shown in the photo below.  The cake was described as follows: “it was a three-tiered cake with white icing, at the base were rose, thistle and shamrock festoons intertwined with with the British and Denmark coat of arms.  On the tiers were reflectors and figures of cupids with harps and near the top of the cake were two sating flags painted with the images of the Prince and Princess.  At the very top were a Prince coronet with three ostrich feathers”, the symbol of the Prince of Wales.  

Prince Edward and Princess Alexandra wedding cakePrince George and Princess May of Teck

Prince George (later King George V) and Princess May (later Queen Mary) were married at the Chapel Royal in St. James Palace on July 6, 1893, followed by a wedding breakfast at Buckingham Palace.  The main wedding cake measured almost seven feet high and it took over five weeks to make with almost forty separate pieces of plaster used to create the figure molds; it is shown on the photo on the left.  The photo on the right shows the “second cake” which was smaller, measured four and a half feet tall and weighed almost 225 pounds.  The cake is decorated with symbols reflecting Prince George’s naval career.

 Prince George and Princess May wedding cake 1  Prince George and Princess May wedding cake 2

Prince Albert and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon

Prince Albert (later King George VI) and Lady Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother) were married at Westminster Abbey on April 26, 1923, a wedding breakfast followed at Buckingham Palace.  There were fourteen wedding cakes and the main cake was ten feet tall and weighed 300 pounds.  The cake had nine tiers, the first tier featured Windsor Castle and St. George Chapel.  On the second tier featured Glamis Castle (the ancestral home of Lady Elizabeth) and on the third tier were Masonic emblems (both Prince George and the Earl of Strathmore, the father of the bride were both masons)  

Prince George and Lady Elizabeth wedding cake 2

Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten 

Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) and Lieutenant Phillip Mountbatten (later the Duke of Edinburgh) were married on November 20, 1947 at Westminster Abbey.  As with most royal weddings, there were several wedding cakes.  The main cake was a four tier cake was nine feet high and weighed 500 pounds, it is shown in the photo below.  The cake was elaborately decorated with Tudor roses, charming cupid figures, lavish columns and royal insignias.  At the wedding breakfast the wedding cake was cut the Duke of Edinburgh’s military sword.    

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip wedding cake

Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer   

Prince Charles and Lady Diana were married on July 29, 1981 at St. Paul’s Cathedral.  For the wedding breakfast held at Buckingham Palace there were an amazing 27 wedding cakes.  The main cake was five tiered and stood five feet high was styled simply with only a few embellishments and took fourteen weeks to create.  The cake was decorated with white royal icing and featured the Windsor coat of arms made in marzipan; also the couple’s initials were used to adorn the cake.  The cake was topped with fresh flowers including roses, lilies of the valley and orchids. 


Prince William and Catherine (Kate) Middleton

Prince William and Catherine Middleton, now known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, were married on April 29, 2011 at Westminster Abbey.   In following the royal tradition, a wedding breakfast was held after the ceremony at Buckingham Palace.  Fiona Cairns decorated the traditional fruit cake was covered with white fondant and the customary piping and scrollwork; she also incorporated many historical and symbolic decorations.  There were the traditional gum paste flowers including the rose for England, the thistle for Scotland, daffodils for Wales and shamrocks for Ireland.  As a special touch the Sweet William flowers, symbolizing gallantry, were also used to honor the groom. 

The eight tiered wedding cake made by Fi
A small section of the eight tiered wedd  A small section of the eight tiered wedd

Barry Colenso, a master chocolatier, worked with the McVitte Cake Company to create a special cake as requested by the groom.  The actual recipe came from Buckingham Palace and it was based on a classic Tiffin cake which was Prince William’s favorite as a child.  Extra decorations were added in the form of white chocolate flowers, each was was created by hand and took over 6 hours to make.

A brief history of wedding cakes

Some historians trace the tradition of a wedding cake back to ancient Rome.  The custom started with the simple act of breaking bread in half over the head of the bride to bring good luck to the married couple, this symbolized the “breaking of the bride’s virginal state and the subsequent dominance of the groom over her!

In Medieval England at the wedding celebration cakes were stacked high and the bride and groom would try to kiss over the tower of pastries, if the couple could manage to kiss it was determined that they would have a happy and prosperous life together.  Special Note: In some European countries today a croquemouche dessert is made from several stacked profiteroles (cream puff pastries), often decorated with spun sugar, which is frequently served at weddings, baptisms or first communions.

In the 17th century the custom was to have two cakes, one known as the bride’s cake and the other the groom’s cake.  The bride’s cake traditionally was a pound cake with white icing to symbolize virginity and purity.  The groom’s cake was usually a smaller, dark and rich fruit cake which symbolized fertility.  By, the 19th century the custom of two cakes died out and a larger multi-tiered elaborately decorated cake took center stage at the wedding celebration, in the southern states of the United States the groom’s cake is still a tradition.

By the 19th century, the wedding cake for a royal or an aristocratic celebration was a lighter cake made with refined white sugar.  Sugar was very expensive to be used in general baking and by making the wedding cake in this way a family could show their wealth and social status.  In Victorian times, wedding cakes were generally single-layered.  Then a three tiered cake debuted at the Great Exhibition of Crystal Palace Exhibition in London, the first tier was made of cake while the other two tiers were made entirely of sugar.  This multi-tiered cake became popular for wedding cakes, dowels were used to separate the layers and the decorations became even more elaborate.

One of the most popular traditions at a wedding celebration is the cutting of the cake.  Originally the cake would be cut and the bride would distribute the slices to the guests.  As wedding receptions grew in size through the years, the bride and groom would cut the cake, sharing the first slice between each other symbolizing their union and the ability to provide for each other in their future life together.

Two other charming traditions are associated with wedding cake.  The first is the cake pull custom which dates back to the Victorian era.  Silver charms attached to silk ribbons were placed inside the cake.  During the wedding reception the bridesmaids would pull the ribbons/charms from the cake, each charm would have a different meaning.  Today, the cake pull is still a popular tradition in the southern states.

The second (dare I say sweet!) tradition involves a slice of the wedding cake.  Superstitiously in the past many bridesmaids cut a small piece of wedding cake, pass it through a bride’s wedding ring for luck and then it would be wrapped and placed under their pillow in the hopes that they would “dream about their future husband”.  Later this custom evolved into slices of wedding cake specially packaged individually for guests to take home after the wedding to eat later or maybe perhaps to be tucked under their pillows!  Shown in the photo below is a slice from the wedding cake of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

Prince William and Kate boxed wedding cake

The Wedding of John Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier

Bridal bouquet 1

On this day, over sixty-two years ago (September 12, 1953), John “Jack” Kennedy and Jaqueline “Jackie” Bouvier were married in a large ceremony held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Newport, Rhode Island followed by a huge reception held at Hammersmith Farm, the stepfather of the bride’s oceanfront estate.  At the time of the wedding, the groom was a U.S. Senator and destined to become President of the United States and the bride was a roving reporter/photographer and she was also destined to become the fashionable and, perhaps, the most famous First Lady.  Before I discuss the details of the wedding and the reception, let’s start with how the couple meet …

Most sources indicate that Jack and Jackie were introduced by a mutual friend, Charles Bartlett in May 1951 at a small dinner party held in Georgetown located just outside of Washington, D.C.  (His version was “I leaned across the table for the asparagus and asked her for a date”)  Another possible story of their first meeting possibly happened several years earlier in 1949 when they met casually on a train traveling from New York to or from Washington, D.C.  (Her version and first impression on meeting him was “he was charming, handsome but a hopeless flirt”)  In reality, Jack and Jackie casually dated and went for long periods of time without seeing each other throughout the years.  Jack was busy in Washington, D.C. or campaigning in Massachusetts and Jackie was in Europe vacationing with her sister before going to London to cover the Queen’s coronation.

It seems that absence could really make the heart grow fonder, and when Jackie returned from England Jack proposed on June 24, 1953 with a stunning Van Cleef & Arpels engagement ring.  The design of the ring was very unique and featured a 2.88 carat diamond and 2.84 carat emerald with several baguette diamond accents.  (Special Note:  Jackie later had the ring redesigned and replace the baguette diamond with marquis and round diamonds.  Then after the death of her husband, Jackie had the ring reset to the original design for sentimental reasons)

Jackie's engagement ring

After the engagement was announced the wedding planning quickly started in earnest and everybody seemed to have an option from the mother of the bride, Janet Auchincloss, to the mother of the groom, Rose Kennedy.  The only thing not questioned was the type of ceremony, since both the bride and the groom were Catholic and the location selected was St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Newport, Rhode Island.  The nuptial mass was officiated by Cardinal Richard Cushing, the Archbishop of Boston, and a special papal blessing was received from Pope Pius XII.

From the Kennedy perspective, the wedding would be seen as a political event with an extremely large guest list of Washington senators and congressmen and Massachusetts politicians. The invitation list would be approximately 800 guests for the church services and 1500 guests for the reception at Hammersmith Farm.  There would also be a large wedding party with the bride’s sister Lee (who had recently married Michael Canfield a few months earlier in April 1953) serving as matron of honor and her stepsister, Nina Auchincloss, as the maid of honor and ten additional bridesmaids all wearing pink taffeta dress.  The groom’s brother, Bobby Kennedy, served as best man long with another brother Edward Kennedy, brother-in-law Sargent Shriver, brother-in-law Michael Canfield, Lem Billings, Red Fay, Charles Bartlett and several others that served as ushers.

The bridal party

Every wedding has some problems and there was a major problem with Jackie’s father, “Black Jack” Bouvier.  Jackie’s parents had a bitter divorce back in 1940 amid adultery claims; Jack was a known womanizer as well as a heavy drinker and gambler.  Despite her father’s problems Jackie adored him and he was very proud and honored to be escorting her down the aisle.  But on the morning the wedding when someone went to get Jackie’s father he was found passed out drunk and it was clear that he would not be able to perform his duties and he was quietly and quickly sent out of town to avoid any embarrassment.  When Jackie arrived with her stepfather, Hugh Auchincloss, the reporters were told that Jack Bouvier had suddenly come down with a very bad cold and would be unable to attend the wedding.  Jackie was deeply disappointed about the situation with her father and she somehow blamed her mother for inadvertently causing it to happen.

Wedding ceremony - interior    Wedding ceremony - exterior

Almost 4 miles away from the church was the reception site, Hammersmith Farm, the 300 acre estate of Hugh and Janet Auchincloss.  At the reception, the bridal couple spent three hours greeting guests on the receiving line, then after lunch was served the party continued with several speeches, dancing, cake cutting and the bridal bouquet toss.

Wedding reception - dancing  Wedding reception - cutting the cake  Wedding reception - bouquet toss

After the wedding, the bridal couple went to New York and stayed at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan before a catching a flight to Acapulco, Mexico for their honeymoon.  They spent two weeks in Mexico and then stopped in California for a short stay at the San Ysidro Ranch in located in Montecito.

Honeymoon in Acapulco 1  Honeymoon in Santa Barbara

Historical Note: While on their honeymoon, Jack caught a large sailfish on a deep sea fishing trip and Jackie had the “trophy fish” stuffed and mounted.  Many years later after Jack became President of the United States; the “honeymoon fish” was hung in the White House.

Honeymoon Fish  Honeymoon Fish in the Roosevelt Room of the White House

Jackie Bouvier’s Wedding Dress

The wedding dress of Jackie Bouvier was designed by Ann Lowe and made of ivory silk taffeta and featured an off-the-shoulder neckline, fitted bodice and a very full skirt.  The skirt was embellished with flounces and swirls using 50 yards of crème colored faille (plain weave fabric made of silk with a lustrous finish).  To complete her wedding ensemble, Jackie choose to wear white gloves with the dress.

Image:  Formal portrait - close-up

For something borrowed, Jackie wore her Grandmother Lee’s rosepoint lace veil and she also carried a lace handkerchief of her mother’s, something blue was the traditional blue garter and something new was a diamond bracelet which the groom had given to her the night before the wedding.  Her other jewelry items were a pearl choker necklace which was a gift from her family and a diamond leaf brooch which was a gift from her new in-laws.  Jackie’s wedding bouquet was a cascading style of pink and white orchids and fragrant gardenias.

 Wedding veil - back view

Special Notes:  Jackie had always said that she intensely disliked the elaborate bridal dress that she wore on her wedding day and felt that it was too much dress for her.  Like most young brides, she had felt pressure from her mother to choose the more traditional style but personally would have preferred a wedding dress with more simple and chic lines.

One week before the wedding, disaster struck when the New York showroom of Anne Lowe, the dress designer, suffered severe water damage from a broken pipe.  The wedding dress and the bridesmaids’ dresses were ruined and Lowe and her staff need to remake all the dresses in less than seven days. (it had previously taken eight weeks for the dresses to be made before)

Celebration – The Order of the Garter Ceremony

Order of the Garter - garter and star

In a previous Travel post, I discussed detailed information about the history and the architecture of St. George’s Chapel located in the Lower Ward at Windsor Castle.  St. George’s Chapel is dedicated to St. George, the patron saint of the Order of the Garter. The Chapel is where the traditional Garter Ceremony takes place annually in mid-June, the first Monday of Ascot week which has become known as Garter Day.

In this post, I will start with the history of the Order of the Garter and then more detailed information about the Garter Ceremony and finally a description of the distinctive vestments and accessories wore by the Knights of the Order and the elaborate decorations within the Knights stalls in St. George’s Chapel.

The History of the Most Noble Order of the Garter

The Most Noble Order of the Garter was first established by King Edward III in 1348 (historical records could possibly indicate that the order was founded four years earlier) and is the oldest and the highest British order of chivalry.  The Order is considered the third most prestigious honor to receive; the other two are the Victoria Cross and the George Cross.

From the time the Order was first established and for almost two centuries thereafter the Sovereign and the Knights of the Garter would annually gather for three days at Windsor Castle and in particular St. George’s Chapel.   Then, from 1674 to 1805, the Order began to gather for a short amount of time and the ceremony and celebrations were drastically limited to a one day event.  Eventually, the venue was changed from Windsor Castle to London and the members only gathered for the investitures.

Then in 1948, King George VI requested that the Knights of the Order would once again formally gather annually at Windsor Castle followed by a religious service at St. George’s Chapel.  Throughout the previous centuries, the government had advised the selection of the Order’s members but King George VI implemented that the Sovereign would personally select any additional members.  Previously, members of the Garter were exclusively limited to the British aristocracy but today the Garter Knights have been drawn from members of the British Royal Family, former Prime Ministers of the British government or foreign Monarchs.  Currently the membership of the Order is limited to the Sovereign, the Prince of Wales and 24 additional members.

Since the Order of the Garter was established there have been approximately 990 Garter Knights.  Today, members of the Order are entitled to use the title of “Sir” before their names and they are also able to add the letters K.G. to indicate Knight of the Garter after their names.  For a current list of the Knights of the Order of the Garter which includes the several members of the Royal Family; please click on the link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_Knights_and_Ladies_of_the_Garter

Order of the Garter members 1

Historical Note: Over the past centuries, a few Garter Knights have been degraded in status or removed from the order.  One important reason would this would have occurred was when a Knight committed treason against the Sovereign.  Between 1387 and 1716 there were over twenty Knights removed although six of those were later reinstated.  During World War II, Emperor Hirohito of Japan and King Emmanuel III of Italy’s banner, crests and swords were removed from St. George’s Chapel.  In 1945, when Winston Churchill was voted out of the Conservative party, was offered the position as Knight of the Order for the first time and famously refused.  Later, he stated “I cannot accept the Order of the Garter from the King (George VI) after the British people have given me the Order of the Boot”!!  Then in 1953, Queen Elizabeth II offered him the position again he graciously accepted and became a Knight of the Order of the Garter.

Annually on St. George’s Day, April 23, if there are any new members being added to the Order a public announcement is made; St. George is the patron saint of the Order.  Then, in mid-June, on Garter Day, a formal investiture of new members is performed by the Queen in the Garter Throne Room at Windsor Castle.  The members would be dressed in the full robes of the Order which would include the mantle and the velvet hat with the white feathers.  (There will be more information on the Order of the Garter vestments and accessories later in this post)

After the investiture ceremony, a long procession led by the Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle, followed by the Military Guards of Windsor and the Queen with the Knights of the Order of the Garter walk from the Upper Ward of Windsor Castle to the Lower Ward and St. George’s Chapel for a religious service of thanksgiving and the installation of any members.  Afterwards, the current Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh host a luncheon for the Knights of the Order.

Travel Note:  When planning a trip to Windsor Castle or St. George’s Chapel, please be advised that both are closed to visitors on Garter Day.  If visitors are interested, a limited number of tickets, maximum of four tickets, are available for the public to watch the procession from Windsor Castle to St. George’s Chapel.  Requests for tickets can be made from January 1 to March 1 each year at the following email address: [email protected]

Order of the Garter vestments and accessories

When the Knights of the Order of the Garter dress for ceremonial events, the members wear special vestments and accessories.  Each of these items are listed below:

The Garter

The distinctive symbol of the order is a dark blue garter with the motto “Honi soit qui mal y pense” (“shame on him who thinks evil of it”) written in gold lettering.  The origin of the garter used in connection with the Order could be a reference to the small piece of cloth was used to attach the armor of the knights and it makes perfect sense that the organization used the symbol of the garter to represent the Knights of the Order bond together.  The Knights customarily wear the garter attached beneath the left knee and the Ladies of the Order wear it below their left elbow but in either case the garter is wore infrequently except for formal occasions and ceremonies.

Order of the Garter  - garter

The material used for the garter can vary from blue velvet trimmed in diamonds or blue silk embroidered in gold.  The Queen rarely used the Garter and over the years two notable exceptions have occurred when she wore it on her visits to the Vatican in 1961 and 1980.

Order of the Garter  - Queen Elizabeth wearing garter at Vatican

The Garter Mantle

The Knights of the Order of the Garter have been wearing a robe or mantle (a loose-fitting cloak) in some form or fashion for centuries.  Originally the cloth used for the mantle was wool and the color was purple but over the years it has changed and the current material is dark blue velvet lined with white taffeta.  The mantles used by the Sovereign (Queen Elizabeth II) and those of the Prince of Wales and other Royal Knights and Ladies are different in the fact that their mantles end with a train.  On the left breast of the Knight’s mantle is the heraldic shield of St. George’s Cross which is encircled by the Garter, the Queen’s mantle has the Garter Star of the Order.  On the right shoulder is a dark red velvet hood and surcoat (an outer garment most commonly worn during in the Middle Ages).  The mantle has elaborate cords used for closure with white ribbons at the shoulders and the Garter Collar with the Great George pendant is pinned and drapes across the front.

Order of the Garter  - mantle and bonnet

The Garter Hat or Tudor Bonnet

Worn with the mantle is the Garter Hat or Tudor Bonnet (a traditional soft crowned round brimmed cap).  This unusual hat is made of black velvet and trimmed with the plume of white ostrich and black heron feathers.  Attached to the hat is a badge of the heraldic shield of St. George which is encircled by the Garter of the Order.

Order of the Garter  - Queen Elizabeth Garter hat

The Garter mantle and the hat are worn by the Knights of the Order only for ceremonial events such as the annual Garter Day service at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in mid-June.  One exception when the Garter mantle and hat are worn is for formal portraits or photographs.

(Shown below are the formal portraits of King George V and Queen Elizabeth II)

    Elizabeth II - Garter Robe

The Garter Collar

The Collar worn by the Knights of the Order of the Garter dates back to the 15th century and today it is worn attached to the shoulders and draped across the front of the mantle.  The Collar features alternating golden knots and red enameled Tudor rose encircled by the garter medallions joined together with gold links and attached to the Collar is the Great George pendant.

Order of the Garter  - collar and the George

The Garter Star

The Garter Star is another item worn by the Knights of the Order and it is worn on the left breast.  It was first included in the vestments of the Order in the 17th century under the reign of King Charles I.  The Garter Star is an eight-point silver badge; each point is depicted as the rays of the sun with the four longer ones indicating the directional points of a compass.  In the center of the Star is an enamel version of the Heraldic shield of St. George’s Cross which is encircled by the Garter of the Order.

The Queen’s Garter Star was given to her as a gift from her father King George VI, in 1947 when she was invested into the Order.  The Queen’s Garter Star is simply magnificent and is set with diamonds.

Order of the Garter  - star

The Garter Riband

The Garter Riband is a 4 inch wide sash which is customarily worn pinned from the left shoulder across the body to the right hip.  The Riband was first included in the vestments in 17th century during the reign of King Charles I.  Throughout the centuries the color has change from light blue to dark blue.

Order of the Garter  - lesser George

The Lesser George

The Lesser George is worn attached to the riband at the hip.  Like the Greater George which is attached to the Garter Collar, it depicts St. George on his horse slaying the dragon but is much smaller in size and was flatter with fewer dimensions.  Depending on the wearer, the Lesser George can vary in design with enameling and jewels.

The Queen wears a more elaborate Lesser George which had originally belonged to King George IV and was later given by Queen Victoria to her husband and Consort, Prince Albert.  The Queen has also worn another Lesser George which depicts St. George in a cameo style badge which had originally belonged to her father, King George VI, and was also given to her upon her investiture.

Order of the Garter Investiture Ceremony and Garter Service

As previously mentioned in this post, the Order of the Garter hold investitures of new members and participate in a religious thanksgiving service at Windsor Castle and St. George’s Chapel annually in mid-June on Garter Day.  From 1805 to 1948, the Garter Services had been discontinued but it was eventually revised by King George VI and has since become one of those British ceremonies filled with pomp and circumstances.

When there are new members that are being installed in the Order, they meet in the Garter Throne Room located in Windsor Castle in the morning.  The Sovereign and Knights of the Order gather wearing the vestments and accessories of the Order. The newest member recites the Order of the Garter oath and then the Admonitions (an advice of counsel and warning) are given by a Church prelate or chancellor.  The Knights items of the Order which have been placed on cushions in preparation for the investiture are presented to the Sovereign.  The Sovereign, assisted by several Knights of the Order, ceremoniously gives the items to the newest member.  The Garter is placed around the left leg of the new Knight, the Riband and the Lesser George are placed across their chest, and the Mantle and the Collar are also given at this time.

Windsor Castle - Garter Throne Room

After the investiture ceremony, a long procession led by the Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle, followed by the Military Guards of Windsor and the Queen with the Knights of the Order of the Garter walk from the Windsor Castle to St. George’s Chapel for a religious service of thanksgiving.  Military bands perform during the procession to the Chapel; one is positioned near the Henry VIII Gate and the second near the Henry VII Tower.  The Royal Arms officers dressed in their black knee breaches start the possession.  The next group is led by the newest Knight of the Garter that was just invested in Windsor Castle followed by the established and senior Knights.  Then, the Knights and Ladies of the Royal Family, including the Prince of Wales and Prince William follow next.  Next, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are followed by a group of Yeoman of the Guards wearing their iconic Tudor uniforms.

Garter Day - Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip 1

Finally, the procession arrives at the East Door of St. George’s Chapel and climb the grand steps and into the Nave.  After the procession enters the Quire, the Knights take their place in their assigned stalls.  The service of thanksgiving follows and upon completion, everyone returns to Windsor Castle by carriage or car.  Then, Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh host a luncheon for the Knights of the Order in the Waterloo Chamber of the Castle.

Windsor Castle - Waterloo Chamber

The Order of the Garter Heraldry in St. George’s Chapel

Each Order of the Garter Knight is assigned a stall in St. George’s Chapel and their name and coat of arms plate is affixed to the back wall of the stall.  Hanging above the stall are the Knights heraldic banners, carved crowns or cornets or helmets and swords are displayed above the stall.  The items remain throughout the life of the Knight and upon their death the heraldic items are removed from the Chapel but the stall plate remains in place.

St. George's Chapel - Order of the Garter stalls

Order of the Garter - Knights banner & crest    Order of the Garter  - stall plates

Celebration – British Royal Wedding Dresses (Part Two)

In the first of the two part series on Royal Wedding Dresses, I discussed five wedding dresses of the Royal brides from the previous centuries starting with Queen Victoria who had married Prince Albert in 1840 through to the Duchess of Windsor who married the Duke of Windsor in 1937.  In the second part in the series, I will discuss six more recent wedding dresses starting with Princess Elizabeth who married Prince Philip in 1947 (they will be celebrating their 68th wedding anniversary this November) through to the Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton, who married Prince William in April 2011.

Princess Elizabeth’s wedding dress

Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II) married Philip Mountbatten (now known as the Duke of Edinburgh) on November 20, 1947 at Westminster Abbey in London.  At the time of the wedding, World War II had recently ended but due to food and supply shortages coupon rationing was still in effect.  After the engagement was announced, thousands of clothing coupons were received at Buckingham Palace to assist in making a wedding dress fit for a Royal Princess but it was illegal to transfer coupons.  For this reason, the coupons were rightfully returned with a letter from Princess Elizabeth thanking the people for their generosity and thoughtfulness.

Norman Hartnell had been the long standing and favorite designer of Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth’s mother, since 1938 and he received the commission to create the wedding dress.  It has been said that Hartnell was inspired by the paintings of Botticelli that he had seen and at the time he thought the wedding dress for Princess Elizabeth was the most beautiful dress he had ever created.  He designed a lovely gown of ivory duchess satin with a fitted bodice and full skirt that extended into a 15 foot train.  The dress and train were elaborately embroidered with garlands of satin appliqued starflowers, roses and wheat created with silk thread, 10,000 seed pearls and crystals.  (Hartnell was also commissioned to create another important dress for Princess Elizabeth who was destined to become Queen of England.  For more information on her coronation dress, please click on the link to the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II)

Special Note:  Due to the recent war and the ongoing hostilities with Japan, silkworms from China were used to manufacture the silk for Princess Elizabeth’s wedding dress.  After the wedding, the dress was donated to the London Museum but sadly throughout the following years the choice of the silk material has proven to be a poor one and the fabric has severely deteriorated caused by the weight of the heavy embroidery and beading.

Princess Elizabeth wedding 1

To complete the bridal ensemble for her wedding day, Princess Elizabeth wore a white silk tulle veil held in place by the diamond King George III Fringe Tiara.  Unfortunately, while preparing for her wedding day the frame of the tiara broke in half but luckily the royal jeweler was called in to quickly make the repair before the ceremony.  Royal Note: Princess Elizabeth was the first royal bride that wore her bridal veil covering her face.

Fringe Tiara

Princess Elizabeth’s bridal bouquet was made by the local British florist Longmans from three different kinds of British-grown orchids; cattleya, odontoglossum and cypripedium.  Per Royal tradition dating back to Queen Victoria, a sprig of myrtle was picked from the garden at Osborne house and added to the bouquet.

Princess Margaret’s wedding dress

Princess Margaret and Anthony Armstrong-Jones (later Lord Snowdon) were married on May 6, 1960 in Westminster Abbey, London.  Since the bride was the sister of the Queen, the wedding was a grand event which was celebrated with the pomp and circumstance that the British are known for and the streets of London were crowded with people that had gathered to see the festivities.

Norman Hartnell, a favorite designer of the Royal family, was commissioned to create Princess Margaret’s wedding dress.  Because of Princess Margaret’s petite figure, the dress was specifically tailored to be simple, sophisticated and classic per the 30 year old bride’s request.  The bodice featured long sleeves with a deep v-neckline, tapered bodice to accent Princess Margaret’s tiny waist.  The full skirt used over 32 yards of silk organza with several layers of tulle underneath.  Because of the fullness of the skirt, Hartnell cleverly designed a split at the back of the skirt to accommodate the confines of the Glass Coach that would take the bride from Buckingham Palace to the Abbey and this little trick prevented the dress from crushing or creasing the material.

Princess Margaret wedding 1

To complete her bridal ensemble, Princess Margaret wore a veil made of tulle and boarded with ivory satin which was secured in place with the beautiful Poltmore Tiara to compliment her high bun hairstyle which was chosen specifically to add height to the petite bride.

Princess Margaret wedding tiara

Royal Note:  Princess Margaret’s wedding dress now belongs to the British Royal Collection.  Also, many years later when her son, Vicount Linley married Serena Stanhope in October 1993, the bride chose a wedding dress style similar to that of Princess Margaret’s dress and she even wore her hair in the same high bun hairstyle which she wore with the Lotus Flower tiara that she had borrowed from her new mother-in-law.


Diana Spencer, the Princess of Wales’ wedding dress

Diana Spencer married Prince Charles on July 29, 1981 in St, Paul’s Cathedral in London.  One of the most closely guarded secrets of the royal wedding was Diana’s wedding dress.  Much has been written about the dress which was designed by the David and Elizabeth Emanuel who were relatively unknown at the time.  The famous dress that Diana wore was an ivory silk taffeta gown trimmed with antique lace decorated with 10,000 pearls and sequins, the dress also featured a 25 foot long train.  Unfortunately, when she emerged from the horse-drawn Glass Coach upon arriving at the Abbey the dress looking slightly crumpled because it seems there was too small a space allowed for the voluminous amount of material.  Maybe the designers should have learned from Hartnell clever use of a split in the back of the skirt of Princess Margaret’s wedding dress.  (Special Note: Diana’s wedding dress is currently on display at Althorp House, the ancestral seat of the Spencer family in Suffork, and is part of a special exhibit called “Diana: A Celebration”.  On occasion, the dress sometimes goes on display in a traveling exhibit, most recently it was shown in Australia,  Additional Note: The Exhibit at Althorp was permanently closed in 2013)

Diana wedding bouquet    Diana Wedding 1

To complete her wedding attire, Diana wore the beautiful Spencer tiara, the precious family heirloom was considered her “something borrowed”.  The tiara was originally given to Viscountess Althorp, Cynthia Spencer, who was Diana’s paternal grandmother as a wedding gift.  In 1927, the original tiara was redesigned with additional stones taken from various other jewelry owned by the Spencer estate to create the look of the current tiara.  The tiara is made in gold with diamond scrolls accented with diamond tulip and star flowers set in silver.  (Special Note: The Spencer tiara occasionally goes on display during the summer months at Althorp)

Diana wedding - Spencer tiara

Diana’s bridal bouquet was designed by Longmans Florist; who was the same florist that made the Queen’s bouquet for her wedding in 1947.  Diana’s bouquet was very large cascading style, 42” long and 15” wide.  It was made of fragrant gardenias, stephanotis, freesia, Odontoglossum orchids, lilies of the valley, the Earl of Mountbatten roses, ivy and myrtle.  The Mountbatten roses were used as a tribute to Prince Charles Uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, who died tragically in 1979.  The sprig of myrtle was added to the bouquet in keeping with the royal tradition.

(If you are interested in more information about Princess Diana’s wedding dress, I would recommend “A Dress for Diana” by David and Elizabeth Emanuel”)

Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York’s wedding dress

The wedding of Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew took place on July 23, 1986 at Westminster Abbey.  The designer, Linka Cierach, created a classic dress made from ivory duchesse satin which featured a deeply scooped neckline, fitted bodice, three-quarter length slightly puffed sleeves with bows at the shoulder and a full skirt.  The bodice of the dress was beautifully hand embroidered with intricate beadwork and the 17 foot train featured intertwined A and S initials for the bridal couple, ship anchors to honor Prince Andrew’s naval career and bumblebees and thistles which are symbols used on the Ferguson family crest.

Duchess of York wedding 1

In the months leading up to the wedding day, the press and the public had increasingly commented on Sarah’s fuller figure especially when compared to the much slimmer Princess Diana and for this reason Sarah worked very hard to loose over 25 pounds.  Cierach had created a dress that was perfectly tailored and accentuated Sarah’s smaller waistline.

Duchess of York wedding 2

Sarah wore her red hair in long loose curls and her bridal veil was attached to her head with a floral headpiece when she arrived at the abbey.  She carried a lovely S-shaped bouquet made of gardenias, cream lilies, yellow roses, lilies of the valley and the traditional sprig of myrtle.  Later after the vows and signing the registry, Sarah removed the floral headpiece and exchanged it with a diamond tiara which had been purchased for her from Garrard’s by her new mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth.

Duchess of York floral headpiece    Duchess of York wedding dress closeup 1
Duchess of York wedding tiara

(To best honest, I preferred the Sarah the Duchess of York’s wedding dress when it is compared with the one of Diana the Princess of Wales.  I really liked the more fitted bodice without excessive frills, the choice of satin instead of taffeta and the stylized embroidery and beading which added a distinctive personal touch)

Camilla Parker-Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall’s wedding dress

Camilla Parker-Bowles married Prince Charles on April 9, 2005 at the Windsor Guildhall, later that same day in St. George’s Chapel there was a religious blessing followed by a formal reception at Windsor Castle.  For the civil ceremony, Camilla wore a cream silk chiffon dress with a matching coat and she wore a Prince of Wales feather brooch attached to the coat lapel.  She also wore a large Philip Treacy cream wide-brimmed straw hat covered with ivory French lace and accented with feathers.  To complete her civil ceremony outfit, Camilla choose to wear L.K. Bennett shoes in an almond shade and a Launer purse made of embossed leather and lined in suede.

Camilla Duchess of Cornwall wedding 1    Camilla Duchess of Cornwall headpiece 1a

For the Church of England blessing in St. George’s Chapel, Camilla wore a Robinson Valentine long pale blue and gold embroidered damask coat over a matching chiffon gown.  To complete her bridal ensemble, Camilla wore an impressive spray of golden feathers also created by Treacy in her perfectly coiffured hair instead of a tiara.

Camilla Duchess of Cornwall wedding 2    Camilla Duchess of Cornwall headpiece 2b

The designers struggled with creating the appropriate dresses and choosing the right accessories for both the civil ceremony and church blessing.  (Personally, I think that the two dress/coat ensembles were the perfect choices and Camilla looked wonderful)

Royal Note: After the official engagement of Prince Charles and Camilla was announced there were many meetings held to discuss the unusual situation of how a previously divorced heir to the throne of England could be remarried.  It had been several decades since the couple had first meet and eventually married other people only to have both those marriages end in very public and scandalous divorces and then sadly having to deal with the tragic death of Princess Diana.  (Personally, I think the civil ceremony and the church blessings were the right choices for the celebrations of the marriage of Prince Charles and Camilla)

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress

Catherine (Kate) Middleton and Prince William married on April 29, 2011 at Westminster Abbey.  Kate’s wedding dress, much like Diana’s was almost 30 years earlier, was a closely guarded secret. The dress was designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen.  The beautiful dress was made of satin gazar with a fitted bodice, long sleeves that button at the wrist and the skirt was gathered gently at the waist over slightly padded hips that formed a bustle in the back and a 9 foot train featured lace with a floral design of roses, thistle, shamrocks and daffodil which are the National symbols of the United Kingdom.  The lovely lace was appliqued by hand onto tulle and then applied to the bodice and skirt of the dress.  The stunning dress was instantly compared to that of another royal bride, Princess Grace of Monaco.  (For more information on the other iconic wedding dress, please click on the link The Wedding of Grace Kelly and the Prince Rainier.


In keeping with the bridal tradition of “something old, new, borrowed and blue”, Kate’s bridal attire included the following items:  vintage lace was also incorporated into the dress for “something old” as well as a blue ribbon sewn into the bodice for “something blue”.  The “something new” was a set of earrings especially commissioned by Kate’s parents for her wedding day and the design came from the newly created Middleton family crest.  The earrings were 18 carat white gold and diamonds in the form of curved oak leaves at the top and featured a pave diamond acorn suspended in the center of an oval-shape covered in more diamonds.

Wedding earrings

To complete her bridal attire, Kate wore a veil made of silk tulle which was embroidered with lace and held in place by the Cartier Scroll Tiara, also known as the “Halo” Tiara, which was the “something borrowed” from the Queen.  The tiara was originally purchased in 1936 by the Queen’s father (later King George VI) for his wife (later Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother).  On the occasion of her 18th birthday, the tiara was given to their daughter (Queen Elizabeth II).  The Queen loaned the tiara to the bride of her grandson, Prince William.  The Halo Tiara has 16 decorative scrolls set with over 800 diamonds and compliments the earrings that Kate selected to wear on her wedding day.

Kate Middleton wedding veil and tiaraCartier Halo Tiara

Finally, Kate carried a bouquet that traditionally “speaks” the Victorian language of flowers.  The bouquet that the florist Shane Connolly created included such flowers as the lily of the valley which represented a return to happiness, Sweet William for gallantry, hyacinth for constancy of love, ivy for fidelity and friendship and lastly the tradition sprig of myrtle that is used in all royal wedding bouquet.