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British Royal Family

British royal wedding traditions through the ages

Will Eugenie and Jack stick to all of these?

By Alex Lilly
They may be a modern couple throwing a plastic-free affair, but the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank is still a royal affair.
You may or may not have noticed, but there are a few wedding traditions that have been carried down through generations of the British Royal Family. The question is, will we see them at the modern couple's nuptials?
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Wedding rings made from Welsh gold

Most of the modern royal ladies including The Queen Mother, The Queen herself, Princess Margaret, Princess Anne, and Princess Diana have or had wedding rings made from the same nugget of Welsh gold, which came from a Welsh mine, Clogau St David's at Bontddu.
However, even if they wanted to, neither Eugenie or Jack can have a ring made from that - only one gram of the original nugget remains and it's locked in the Privy Purse Office.
The Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex's wedding rings are made from a 21-carat piece of Welsh gold given to the Queen by the Royal British Legion in 1981.
However Prince Harry, who is the first male member of the royal family to wear a wedding ring, opted for platinum over a traditional gold one. We shall have to see what the royal couple pick on the day.

Carrying a sprig of myrtle in the bridal bouquet

Eugenie's parents, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson on their wedding day in 1986.
Back in the days of Queen Victoria, her husband Prince Albert's grandmother gifted her a posey of myrtle. Since then it's been grown at Queen Victoria's old holiday home Osborne House on the Isle of Wight and has appeared in the bouquets of royal brides for good luck, starting with Queen Victoria's eldest daughter.
Eugenie's mother, Sarah Ferguson famously carried a bouquet in the shape of an "S," designed by florist Jane Packer and made with gardenias, roses, lily of the valley, and, of course, that traditional sprig of myrtle.

Placing the bridal bouquet on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior

On the Queen Mother's wedding day in 1923, she laid down her bridal bouquet on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey and walked down the aisle without her flowers.
This was a tribute to her brother Fergus, who died at the Battle of Loos in 1915 and the gesture paid tribute to those who were injured and lost their lives in the First World War. Since then, many royal brides have left their flowers on the grave after their wedding.
Duchess Meghan was the latest bride to do so, and we have no doubt Eugenie will honour her great-grandmother in this way as well.

Official photographs

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall's official wedding photograph.
It wouldn't be a wedding without pictures, but when the most famous family in the UK is involved, a royal photography session is definitely in order.
The tradition started with Queen Victoria's son Edward and his bride Alexandra, as before then it had been all about hand-painted portraits. Luckily for everyone, we'll be able to see proper pictures of Eugenie, Jack and their loved ones pretty soon after the wedding.
The ninth in line to the throne is very active on Instagram and loves to share photos of her friends and family, so she's sure to share a few snaps from her big day.

White wedding dress

It's a nice day for a white wedding: Queen Victoria started this tradition at her wedding in 1840.
Founder of the Australian School of Etiquette, Zarife Hardy tells Now To Love that the reason white is the colour of choice for royal brides goes back quite a few years.
"Queen Victoria was the first woman to start the white wedding dress. She wore it on her wedding day to Prince Albert in 1840, so now every bride wears a white dress because of her. Prior to that it was more ivory or cream."
In an interview with British Vogue, Eugenie revealed she had a clear vision of what she would look like on the day early on.
"As soon as we announced the wedding, I knew the designer, and the look, straight away. I never thought I'd be the one who knew exactly what I like, but I've been pretty on top of it."

Orange blossom

The Queen's parents on their wedding day.
Oh Queen Victoria, you are a bit of a trendsetter aren't you!
Instead of wearing a tiara on her big day, Queen Victoria sported a wreath of orange blossom flowers as a symbol of chastity. Later on in their marriage, her husband Prince Albert gave her various orange blossom jewellery pieces too. How romantic!
Orange blossom has been incorporated into the bride's wedding attire in different ways. The Queen Mother wore an orange blossom wreath like Queen Victoria did whereas when Queen Elizabeth married Prince Phillip, her wedding dress featured an orange blossom design made from tulle and outlined in seed pearls and crystal.
Mother of the bride Sarah Ferguson also wore a flower crown, but then swapped it for the York Tiara for the rest of the wedding. Perhaps we'll see Eugenie sport the family tiara on her big day?

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