Royal wedding flowers gifted to hospice patients in Hackney

Pauline Clayton holding a royal bouquet, with staff at St Joseph’s Hospice. Pic: St Joseph’s Hospice

The flowers that adorned St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle at Saturday’s wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been sent to St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney, as well as other hospices and women’s refuges. 

St Joseph’s went on Facebook and Twitter on Sunday to announce they had just received the “very special delivery”.  

They said: “Our hospice smells and looks gorgeous. Such a lovely gesture.” 

Embedded twitter post:

Thank you @philippaflowers and Meghan and Harry for the #royalwedding flowers. All our patients got a stunning bouquet and the hospice smells and looks gorgeous. An amazing gesture, you’re all very kind ❤

— St Joseph’s Hospice (@StJoHospice) May 20, 2018

Pauline Clayton, an 89-year-old patient, was especially touched by the Duke and Duchess’s gift. In 1947 at the age of 19 she was working for royal dressmaker Norman Hartnell and helped embroider the 15-foot train of Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding dress. 

Pauline said: “We were on rationing then and weren’t allowed to sew on any embellishments so the train was embroidered. There were four of us girls working on it and we earned 49 and a half hours overtime doing that!  

“I really liked working for the Queen Mother and I helped to make many of her dresses during my 20-year career with Norman Hartnell.  

“With my royal connections it’s such a lovely coincidence to be at St Joseph’s and receive these wedding flowers, they are beautiful and very special.” 

The health centre claims to have a long history of royal connections, having been visited by Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana and, a couple of years ago, Prince Edward. 

Philippa Craddock and a team of florists from Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle designed the royal flower arrangements, which were then hand-made into beautiful individual bouquets after the ceremony. 

The arrangements were made with locally sourced foliage, including foxgloves, branches of beech, birch and hornbeam. A lot of the blooms were taken from the green spaces of The Crown Estate and Windsor Great Park. 

The bouquets also included peonies, Meghan’s favourite flowers, and white garden roses, which were a favourite of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. 

Meghan’s wedding bouquet also featured forget-me-nots, another of Diana’s favourites. 

However, the bride’s bouquet wasn’t included in the donations, as tradition calls for it to be placed on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey the day after the wedding. 

Bouquet tweet:

According to Westminster Abbey, the tradition was started by the Queen Mother after her marriage to King George VI, to honour her brother Fergus, killed in 1915 at the Battle of Loos during World War I.

In 2011 The Duchess of Cambridge also sent her bouquet to the grave after she married Prince William. 



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