Duchess Meghan's wedding flowers sent to Hospice
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex, arranged for their flowers to be turned into bouquets and delivered to St. Joseph's Hospice.
On Sunday, May 20, 2018, patients of the Hackney institution were surprised by the gifts. The bouquets were made with the same flowers that adorned St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.
The idea was well-received and Philippa Craddock, the florist responsible for the Royal Wedding's flower arrangements, was happy to oblige, and Pauline Clayton, one of the patients, happily posed for a photo shared on Facebook.
The 89-year-old couldn't believe her eyes when she was handed the bouquet, which consisted of flowers from gardens and parklands of The Crown Estate and Windsor Great Park.
Aside from the flowers, branches of birch, hornbeam and beech, as well as peonies and foxgloves were also used to create the bouquets. Upon receiving the flowers, Clayton revealed that she had a special connection to the Royal Family.
According to the St. Joseph's Hospice resident, she used to work for Norman Hartnell, a famous royal dressmaker, when she was 19 years old and helped embroid the train of Queen Elizabeth II's wedding dress.
The Botticelli-inspired train was a little shorter than the one worn by Markle at the Royal Wedding; while Queen Elizabeth's train was 15ft long, Meghan's was 16ft.
Clayton explained that, at the time, the country was rationing and because of that they weren't allowed to sew any embellishments, which resulted in an embroidered train.
The 89-year-old felt nostalgic while telling her story, and recalled that she helped fabricate several dresses for Queen Elizabeth II's mother, Queen Elizabeth, who is commonly known as the Queen Mother.
Nigel Harding, chief executive of the hospice, revealed that the patients were caught off-guard by the gifts but were more than delighted to receive them.