Like a great many other people (estimates range from 24 million to 3.5 billion), I tuned in 30 years later to watch Charles and Diana's older son, Prince William, second in line to the throne, marry his true love, Catherine Elizabeth Middleton, on April 29, 2011, in Westminster Abbey. Kate was not held up to the same degree of scrutiny that potential princesses were a generation ago. She and Wills had been living together, like a modern urban couple, so there was no question of the Royal Gynecological Exam that Diana had to endure. Kate does not come from titled gentry, another requirement in Charles's day. Think of poor Princess Elizabeth, in the 1930s and '40s, who had to choose among the few available Princes!
Anyway, Wills and Kate met in college, dated, lived together, and decided to make it official. That they chose Westminster Abbey, with a capacity for 2000 guests, made their wedding a little different from most. I am what is politely termed a "royal-watcher;" less polite people (my husband, for instance) call me a basket case. Any glossy magazine with any member of the Royal Family on the cover finds its way into my grocery cart. I have learned what a "fascinator" is (and so will you). So is it any wonder that I had a virtual theme garden all ready for this Royal Wedding? Join me for a tour.
Any Royal Wedding Garden needs to start with roses, in particular, 'The Royal Wedding' rose, which is a small, shrub rose with lovely apricot blossoms and is quite hardy, surviving from zone 5-9.
Daylily 'Westminster Lace', far left, also likes full sun, and has a rating of zones 4-10. 'Westminster Lace' will have to stand in for both Westminster Abbey AND all the lace being worn that day.
And Brugmansia 'Bridesmaid' is on the near left; there were a great many young bridesmaids attending the bride.
In the UK apparently the little girls we would call "flower girls" are bridesmaids too.
Stephanotis "Bridal Bouquet', to the left, probably finds its way into bridal bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages. It is happiest in zones 10 and 11 but can be grown as a houseplant or from seed.
And Hydrangea macrophylla 'Wedding Gown', on the right, almost looks like the lace on a real gown. When the seamstresses were working on Kate's gown, they had to stop and wash their hands every half hour! This Hydrangea prefers part shade and blooms profusely from June until frost, depending on your zone.
The Hosta to the near left is called 'Fascinator'. A fascinator is a silly little ladies' daytime hat for when etiquette calls for a hat but fashion doesn't tell you what kind it has to be. Kate Middleton is already credited for bringing the fascinator into style. Think the Royal Ascot Race.
Far left hangs Fuchsia 'Happy Wedding Day', which it seemed to be for all those involved! Fuchsias are usually treated as annuals in the north, although they are actually tender perennials.
Monarda 'Cambridge Scarlet'
perennial zones 4-9
As is customary, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, William's grandmother, conferred some new titles on him on the morning of his wedding day. She made him the Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, Baron Carrickfergus. His wife, Catherine, after the wedding, thus became the Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn, Baroness Carrickfergus. Together, they are referred to as "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge."
To the left, Clematis 'Prince Charles', zones 4 to 8. I am certain that in the next few years breeders will start breeding plants specifically named after this newest pair of interesting Royals! After all, there are three or four different roses named after Diana, Princess of Wales. Prince Charles doesn't just have his own clematis, there is a watermelon named 'Prince Charles' and a few other assorted plants. Give the plant breeders a few years and there will be irises and daylilies and roses named 'Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge'.
|When William becomes King, he will be referred to as Your Majesty. Above is Crocosmia 'Your Majesty', zones 5 to 9, late summer.|
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|Thanks to the many excellent Dave's Garden photographers who allowed me to use their images! In particular, heartfelt thanks go to bootandall, Clare_CA, DaylilySLP, Gindee77, jody, mgarr, monika and Mr_Crocosmia.|