In the aftermath of the royal wedding, viewers are now reflecting on some of the more nuanced details of the occasion. The illustrious event was one for the history books— fashion textbooks, too. But, the physical absence of the groom’s mother was palpable. With this in mind, the royal couple made sure Lady Diana’s spirit would be present throughout the day. Subtle nods to her were abound, but the Duke and Duchess of Sussex clearly want the effort to extend beyond the weekend. In an incredibly thoughtful move, Prince Harry and Meghan donated their wedding flowers to a hospice following their wedding.
St. Joseph’s Hospice in London shared an image of one of their patients with the flowers following the wedding on Sunday, both to Twitter and to Facebook. "Today we got a very special delivery. Beautiful bouquets made from the
#royalwedding flowers which we gave to our patients," staff wrote on the page. "A big thank you to Harry and Meghan and florist Philippa Craddock. Our hospice smells and looks gorgeous. Such a lovely gesture."
The bouquets contained flowers that decorated St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday. Previously, Kensington Royal reported that the bouquets would include white garden roses, foxgloves, and peonies; the end result was undoubtedly gorgeous.
One resident at St. Joseph’s found the gesture particularly exciting. Pauline Clayton (pictured below holding a bouquet) actually helped embroider the train of Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding dress, while working with the dressmaker as a teen. She recalls working on the dress fondly, telling the BBC, "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… There were four of us girls working on it and we earned 49 and a half hours overtime doing that."
For those unfamiliar, hospice is, as defined by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), "A specialized type of care for those facing a life-limiting illness, their families and their caregivers." Rather than trying to save a patient who is terminally ill, hospice aims to make the journey through death as pleasant as possible. It is a holistic approach, acknowledging death is an event that not only affects the person dying. the NCPHO explains hospice caregivers not only, "address the patient’s physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs," but also "helps the patient’s family [and] caregivers." The focus is on comfort, rather than life-saving intervention, as hospice workers believe above all else, "…quality of life to be as important as length of life."
This gesture from Harry and Meghan is very much in line with the philosophies they’ve set forth and the charitable campaigns they’ve committed themselves to; indeed, in lieu of gifts for the wedding, the royal couple asked attendees to consider donating to one of seven charities they personally selected, as reported by The Royal Family’s website. They’ve even delayed their honeymoon to move forward with their official royal duties, which primarily advocate and charity work — and if Meghan Markle’s new page on the royal family’s website is any indication, they’re going to hit the ground running.
As for the rest of the flowers installed for the royal wedding, the flowers inside the chapel itself were reportedly left for another wedding that will take place later in the week. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for one couple if there ever were one!
So far the royal family has only released three official images from the wedding, but judging from the thousands of images taken on the day, the flowers certainly were one of the stars of the show. Fortunately they’ll be enjoyed to their fullest life, thanks to Meghan and Harry’s sweet gesture.
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