Was the spare seat at St. George’s Chapel an homage to Diana?

Was this spare seat an homage to Diana? Spot in front of the Queen in St. George’s Chapel is left EMPTY (and the bride’s bouquet contained a poignant tribute to Harry’s late mother, too)

  • Meghan’s bridal bouquet was a conventional affair, observing royal tradition
  • But it contained a number of personal touches including a nod to Diana
  • Social media users suggested the empty seat could be an homage to Diana too
  • But others argued the seating plan was simply following royal protocol 
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Fans have suggested an empty seat inside Harry and Meghan’s wedding chapel could have been a tribute to the late Princess of Wales.

The chair in front of the Queen was mysteriously left empty, fuelling speculation that it was a nod to Harry’s mother, Diana, who died in a car crash in Paris more than 20 years ago.

As images from inside St. George’s Chapel surfaced this afternoon, dozens of royal watchers took to Twitter to question why the front-row seat next to the Duke of Cambridge had been left empty.

One wrote: ‘Just found out the empty seat next beside William was left for Diana. I’m gonna go cry now.’ 

However, others have argued the seating plan was simply following royal protocol that dictates nobody can sit in front of the monarch. 

A tribute to the Princess of Wales? The chair in front of the Queen was mysteriously left empty this afternoon, fuelling speculation that it was a nod to Harry’s mother, Diana

Social media frenzy: As images from inside St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, surfaced this afternoon, dozens of royal watchers took to Twitter to question why the seat was empty

At the 2011 Royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Queen was seated in the front row meaning nobody could obscure their view. 

MailOnline has contacted Kensington Palace for comment.

It comes after Kensington Palace told how Meghan Markle paid a touching tribute to Diana with her bridal bouquet. 

The stunning arrangement contained forget-me-nots – the Princess of Wales’ favourite flowers – along with stems hand picked by Harry from their private garden at Kensington Palace.

‘Forget me not’ is also the meaning behind Sentebale, the charity set up by Harry in 2005 to help disadvantaged children in the southern African kingdom of Lesotho.

The bridal bouquet was arranged by ‘queen of London florists’ Philippa Craddock, who is also behind the jaw-dropping display inside St. George’s Chapel.  

It featured astilbe – meaning of ‘I will be waiting for you’ or ‘I’ll still be waiting’ – symbolising patience and dedication to a loved one, according to Katie-Jane. 

The bride carried a beautiful bunch of white blooms arranged by ‘queen of London florists’ Philippa Craddock, who is also behind the jaw-dropping display inside St. George’s Chapel

 Romantic: The groom hand-picked some of the blooms from the couple’s private garden at Kensington Palace, according to a royal spokesperson

Meghan’s wedding flowers were the brainchild of ‘queen of London florists’ Philippa Craddock, who is also the woman behind the jaw-dropping display inside St. George’s Chapel

There was also lily-of-the-valley (convallaria); symbolising sweetness and the return of happiness, it is also the birth flower of May. 

Meghan’s bouquet also contained the obligatory sprig of myrtle, a tradition going back to the reign of Queen Victoria and previously observed by the Duchess of Cambridge, the Princess of Wales and even the Queen at their own weddings.

Finally, the bouquet contained astrantia meaning strength, courage and protection, and forget-me-nots – a nod to the Princess of Wales, as they were her favourite flower. 

And according to Katie-Jane Hermes of Florismart, Meghan’s bouquet, made from locally-sourced foliage, speaks volumes about her personality – as well as giving a nod to royal tradition. 

Katie-Jane said: ‘Meghan chose a petit, delicate hand-tied bouquet of Astilbe, Lily of the Valley and Astrantia.  

Steeped in tradition: Meghan’s bouquet contained astrantia meaning strength, courage and protection, and forget-me-nots – a nod to Diana as they were her favourite flower

The bouquet featured astilbe – meaning of ‘I will be waiting for you’ or ‘I’ll still be waiting’ – symbolising patience and dedication to a loved one, according to Katie-Jane

What was in Meghan’s bridal bouquet?

Meghan’s bouquet featured a tribute to Diana as well as a nod to Queen Victoria

Astilbe: Meaning ‘I will be waiting for you’ or ‘I’ll still be waiting’, symbolizing patience and dedication

Lily of the Valley: Latin name- Convallaria. Symbolises sweetness and the return of happiness. It is also the birth flower of May.

Astrantia: Symbolises strength, courage and protection. 

Forget-me-nots: Diana’s favourite flower

Myrtle: A royal custom going back to the reign of Victoria 

Sweet peas: Meaning ‘delicate or blissful pleasure’

‘Very similar in style to Kate’s but not a wired design, it was finished with an ivory satin ribbon. This is a very simplistic style bouquet, and seems to be the recent royal trend.’ 

‘The couple specifically chose them to be included in Ms. Markle’s bouquet to honour the memory of the late Princess on this special day,’ a spokesperson for Kensington Palace said. 

Craddock’s staff were pictured last week transporting a huge delivery of artificial flowers from her depot in London to Windsor ahead of the big day.

Just one day earlier, Craddock took to Instagram to reflect on her starring role in the wedding of the year.

Her mother Doria smiled and looked adoringly at her daughter in the back of her wedding car, again supporting her in the absence of her father Thomas Markle

Meghan is preparing for the life of a royal, with plans to be part of foreign visits planned by Prince Harry in the coming months

Prince Harry and his bride Meghan Markle waved to crowds outside Windsor Castle after they were married today

The newly-wedded couple toured a packed Windsor following their eagerly-anticipated wedding this afternoon

An aerial shot shows Meghan’s huge dress wrapped around the bride, as she holds her new husband’s gloved hand

Meghan looked touched by the massive turn-out for the occasion, with huge crowds cheering the couple around Windsor

The couple looked amazed at the incredible level of support the received from the public as the pulled away from the castle

Royal fans are lining the streets of the Berkshire town all hoping to catch a glimpse of the newly married royal couple when their carriage ride’s along the route

Meghan Markle had a chance to practice her royal wave as she and her husband toured Windsor following their wedding

It is thought around 120,000 people are in Windsor today to cheer on the newly-wedded couple after their wedding

The couple delighted the assembled crowds by sharing a kiss as the carriage pulled along the packed streets of Windsor

Prince Harry and his new bride Meghan Markle toured a jubilant Windsor today following the wedding ceremony

The Castle provided a spectacular backdrop for the procession, which includes soldiers from the Household Cavalry

Huge cheers filled the air as the newly-wedded couple made the long trip down Windsor’s Long Walk

Here they come! The couple chose to travel in an Ascot Landau Carriage for their wedding procession. The Ascot Landaus are the name of five open-topped carriages kept by the Royal Mews 

Royal fans pictured leaning out of windows and standing on roofs as the procession made its way down Windsor’s high street

Guests are gathering inside the famous chapel where Meghan will enter alone in just a few hours

Lady Jane Fellowes (far left) and Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland (next to her, in green) stand next to Prince Charles, Camilla, George, William, Charlotte and Kate on the steps of St George’s Chapel today

Beautiful greenery and flowers adorn the front of the organ loft inside St George’s Chapel ready for the bride and groom

Flowers and foliage surround the West Door and steps of St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle

Rugby star James Haskell and Chloe Madeley, the daughter of Richard and Judy, arrive for the wedding along with Lady Edwina Louise Grosvenor and TV historian Dan Snow

Floral gown: Lady Kitty Spencer, right, photographed outside St George’s Chapel as she waits to enter for the ceremony 

Harry’s family Eliza Spencer, Louis Spencer, Victoria Aitken and Kitty Spencer arrive at St George’s Chapel

Prince Harry’s ex girlfriend Chelsy Davy is seen leaving for the wedding. The South African was in an on-off relationship with the prince for seven years and Pippa Middleton is also on her way

Pregnant Pippa Middleton and her husband James arrived at the steps of the church just after 10.30

Harry’s uncle Earl Spencer and his wife are also at the ceremony in Windsor this morning

The Tindalls: Mike Tindall and his wife Zara, who is heavily pregnant, looked happy as they arrived laughing and smiling

Tinseltown’s finest: Hollywood legend George Clooney paid tribute to his wife’s yellow gown with an accented tie and handkerchief  

The Middletons: The Duchess of Cambridge’s sister Pippa Middleton (left) and brother James Middleton are among the extended family members invited to today’s nuptials 

Church fills: Hollywood’s finest mingle with English aristocracy as the ancient chapel of St George in the grounds of Windsor Castle slowly fills ahead of the midday wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle  

Taking their seats: The guests begin to take their place at St George’s Chapel less than an hour before the ceremony is due to start 

Aunty’s approval: Princess Anne, wearing a silk dress with wrap detailing, looks out onto the church as she waits to see her nephew arrive 

No fascinator this time: Princess Beatrice, who debuted an extravagant fascinator at Prince Wills’ wedding in 2011, shows off her gorgeous green headwear as she sits waiting for cousin Harry to arrive at the church 

Ready and waiting: Prince Harry’s cousin Zara Phillips sits alongside her husband the former England rugby captain Mike Tinall (right) who joked yesterday he was snubbed from his pal Harry’s stag-do 

Orlando Hamilton’s verdict on the bridal bouquet

London florist Orlando Hamilton told FEMAIL: ‘Meghan is an ultra-modern Royal bride in so many ways and Yet there are some strong messages of Royal Tradition and continuity and clear links to the Royal Family in the choice of flowers in her bouquet.

‘Meghan’s bridal bouquet contains a sprig of myrtle visible from the top, as is traditional for significant Royal Brides since the time of Queen Victoria and it will most likely be from a tree at Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s favourite residence on the Isle of Wight.

‘The bouquet contains forget-me-nots which were among Princess Diana’s favourite flowers.

‘It also has lily-of-the-valley, a floral symbol of Love (as in Kate Middleton’s bouquet).

‘The feathery white flowers are ‘Astilbe’ which in the Victorian Language of Flowers signifies Dedication.

‘It also contains sweet peas and jasmine, like Lily of the valley, both delicate but exquisitely scented flowers.

‘If you could get close enough to smell it, the scent would be amazing.

‘I really like that the flowers in Meghan’s bouquet look like they have been picked from the garden and gathered together with a simple silk sash.

‘I gather Prince Harry had a hand in choosing the flowers and most of these grow in the garden at their home at Kensington Palace.

‘This is a perfect way to mix the formal with the familiar. It sends a statement about this very modern royal couple.’

She wrote: ‘Taking a quiet moment in the garden before I head into town to start a marathon of a week ahead, it is such an exciting week.’

In an interview with The Times earlier this month, she revealed that working with the royal couple had been an ‘absolute pleasure’.

‘The process has been highly collaborative, free-flowing, creative and fun,’ she said. 

It was revealed in March that Craddock had been hand-picked by the couple to deck out Windsor in stunning blooms for their May 19 nuptials.

Kensington Palace officially announced the news via a series of tweets describing in detail how society favourite Craddock was chosen for the hotly-contested role.

The decadent floral displays in St. George’s Chapel were created using locally sourced foliage, they said, much of which has been taken from the gardens and parkland of The Crown Estate and Windsor Great Park. 

Who created the wedding flowers at St. George’s Chapel?

Kensington Palace released images of the jaw-dropping floral display in St. George’s Chapel ahead of the couple’s arrival – featuring peonies, asparagus and foxgloves.

Sue Barnes of Lavender Green Flowers – who was responsible for the Countess of Wessex and Pippa Middleton’s wedding flowers – told MailOnline FEMAIL: ‘The outside is very natural and the designs inside are in classic stone urns on stone plinths, and are fairly structured. 

‘The colour scheme is beautifully fresh and green with beech and birch foliage and some white roses.

Floral display: Kensington Palace this morning released these images of the jaw-dropping floral display in St. George’s Chapel, featuring peonies and asparagus

Commenting on the display, Sue Barnes said: ‘The outside is very natural and the designs inside are in classic stone urns on stone plinths, and are fairly structured’

‘The exterior designs are a courageous backdrop for photographs constructed on a scaffold frame for safety. 

‘The scale is enormous and it is designed to soften the fairly austere facade and create a naturally beautiful first impression.

‘There are beautiful Garden and cultivated Roses in cream and white, stocks, stephanotis, nigella, scabious, foxgloves, astilbe, Asparagus fern, beech, birch and some peonies.’ 

Peonies are believed to be Meghan’s favourite flowers, and featured heavily on her now-deleted Instagram page.

Described by Tatler as ‘a floral mastermind’, Craddock claims to be able to create any bride’s dream – from ‘a secret garden in a palace’ to ‘an outdoor botanical romance’.

Her extravagant displays in St George’s Chapel today featured foliage from Windsor Great Park, including beech, birch and hornbeam branches, as well as white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves. 

Speaking earlier this year about being chosen for the Royal Wedding on May 19, she said: ‘I am excited and honoured. The process has been highly collaborative, free-flowing, creative and fun.’

Philippa’s wedding flower displays start at £5,000 but can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds – amid unconfirmed reports the Royal wedding floristry bill could be in the region of £1,000. 

Lana Elie, founder of Floom, added: ‘The bouquet was white as expected, but more wild than we would have initially thought, judging by Philippa Craddock’s general style.

‘We also noticed it included Astilbe, which symbolically is supposed to represent patience and undying love.

‘The smaller size (in comparison to something like Diana’s) is something we’re seeing a lot of as new brides embrace the beauty in simplicity.’ 

Why do royal brides always carry a sprig of myrtle in their bouquets?

Tradition dictates that a royal bride’s bouquet contains a sprig of myrtle.

The custom dates back to Queen Victoria’s time when the monarch’s daughter, Princess Victoria, carried it among her bridal flowers in 1858.

The Duchess of Cambridge, the Queen, and Harry’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, all had myrtle in their wedding bouquets – so it is expected that Meghan Markle will do the same. 

The myrtle for royal bridal bouquets comes from the bush grown from the myrtle originally given to Queen Victoria.

Kate Middleton’s show-stopping bouquet, designed by Shane Connolly, also contained lily-of-the-valley, hyacinth and ivy when she walked up the aisle in 2011

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle after their 2005 wedding. Camilla’s bouquet contained primroses alongside myrtle foliage

It was presented to Victoria in a posy by Prince Albert’s grandmother, and the couple brought it back from Germany and planted it at Osborne House, their holiday home on the Isle of Wight, where it has thrived.

The glossy, evergreen shrub is said to bring luck and fidelity.

In another tradition, royal brides poignantly send their bouquet back to Westminster Abbey to be placed on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.

In 1981, Diana carried a jaw-dropping waterfall bouquet for her wedding to Prince Charles, also containing myrtle – which came from the garden of Queen Victoria’s Osborne House

As per royal tradition, Princess Anne carried a white bouquet containing lily-of-the-valley, white roses, stephanotis and myrtle for her first marriage to Captain Mark Phillips in 1973

Kate followed the custom in 2011, as did the Queen, who was Princess Elizabeth when she wed in 1947, and Diana in 1981. 

The resting place at the London Abbey holds the remains of a First World War soldier who has come to symbolise the nation’s war dead.

The late Queen Mother began the long-standing tradition when her posy was left at the grave in 1923 after her wedding to the Duke of York, later George VI.

She left the flowers in memory of her brother Fergus, killed in 1915 during the global conflict.

Princes Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones (Lord Snowdon) were married at Westminster Abbey in May 1960, with Margaret carrying orchids, lily-of-the-valley, stephanotis and myrtle

The Queen – then Princess Elizabeth – chose white orchids for her bouquet when she tied the knot with the Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey in 1947

Convention dictates that the day following royal weddings the floral tribute is sent to the Abbey after the official wedding pictures of the bride and groom have been taken.

Kate’s bridal bouquet, which included sweet William, as well as myrtle, lily of the valley and hyacinth, was placed on a small pillow on the grave.

Diana’s flowers consisted of white and gold stephanotis, gardenias, orchids, lily of the valley and yellow Earl Mountbatten roses.

The Queen chose white orchids for her bouquet, which also included a sprig of myrtle.

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