Queen Elizabeth II’s Favourite Flowers

Queen Elizabeth II loved to be surrounded by flowers. From her bridal bouquet in 1947 to her death, they played a special role in the life of the British monarch. 

Floral tributes at the palace 

London florists are working overtime. The sea of flowers in front of Buckingham Palace, which is gradually assuming proportions similar to that following the death of Princess Diana, underlines once again the timeless role of flowers: there is no better way to express grief. 

Flowers and Queen Elizabeth II were also inseparable at other important moments in her life. 

Her bridal bouquet 

At her wedding to the then Duke Philip on 20 November 1947 – the first televised ceremony to be broadcast worldwide – Princess Elizabeth carried a highly personalised bridal bouquet that revealed much about the Queen’s personal preferences. For example, three special varieties of orchid were used, a very delicate and rare flower at the time, symbolising love, beauty and strength. These varieties were white cattleya, odontoglossum and cypripedium, a reference to British colonies overseas. These were combined with wonderfully fragrant lily of the valley and the white flowers of the myrtle (Hypocalymma angustifolium) in reference to Australia, of which she was also head of state, and to the bridal bouquet of that other long-serving monarch, Queen Victoria. 

However, Elizabeth’s bouquet disappeared after the wedding ceremony, so no professional photos of Princess Elizabeth exist with the flowers in her hand. Anew photo shoot had to be organised several days later with a replica of the bridal bouquet (see photo above). 

On the death of her husband, Prince Philip, in March 2022, orchids were used to decorate the church in reference to their bridal bouquet. The chances are that this will happen again at the Queen’s farewell ceremony. 

Her favourite flower 

Queen Elizabeth II was also a welcome guest at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, where she visibly enjoyed the floral displays.  

Queen Elizabeth II loved being photographed in the beautiful gardens during the Chelsea Flower Show. – Photo ©RHS Chelsea Flower Show  

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show organisers said they were “deeply saddened” by her death. “The Queen regularly accompanied her parents to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and visited the show more than 50 times during her reign. She always enjoyed looking at the gardens and speaking to the exhibitors. We are therefore extremely grateful and proud that she was our ambassador.” 

In May, during one of her last public appearances, another floral portrait was unveiled to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (70 years) (pictured below) with her favourite flower: lily of the valley. This flower symbolises motherhood, purity and happiness, and in the language of flowers, gentleness and humility. 

In May, Queen Elizabeth II herself unveiled a painting at the Chelsea Flower Show.  

© RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Moreover, lilies of the valley had a very sentimental meaning for the Queen. In addition to her bridal bouquet, they were also used in the Queen’s coronation bouquet in 1953. We would therefore not be surprised to find them in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. 

Queen Elizabeth II was 96 years old. 

2 thoughts on “Queen Elizabeth II’s Favourite Flowers

  • 13 Sep 2022 at 20:29

    I am so saddened by the loss of Queen Elizabeth. I know she has been raised to a greater glory to start her Eternal life. I love going over all the flowers the Queen loved so very much, especially the Lily of the Valley and Heather. I will cherish these flowers always as I cherish the calalily, the flower my son admired so much. Two beautiful people, Queen Elizabeth and my son, David James. I will always honor them and remember the beautiful lives they lived. The flowers will always be a part of their legacy. My heart just aches right now but I know our Loving God has His arms around both of them. God Bless the Queen.

  • 20 Oct 2022 at 13:59

    I met the Queen in Hong Kong and my children and their friends handed the queen blue and green orchids. The Queen asked “Are they real?” The children were all 3-6 years old. My son put on his soldier roundhead helmet and breastplate to protect the Queen he said. I still have the photo from the newspaper article.


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