During Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding ceremony inside St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle this weekend, there was a noticeable empty seat next to Prince William, but it wasn’t for the reason that many people believe. Many viewers who tuned into the royal wedding wondered if the empty seat was in honor of the late Princess Diana. But, that wasn’t the case.
According to People Magazine, they kept the front row seat empty, so Queen Elizabeth would have a clear view of the proceedings from her seat in the second row. She did not require the same accommodation at the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton because she had a front-row seat at Westminster Abbey.
Even though the reserved seat was not a gesture to honor William and Harry’s late mother, the bride and groom carried on Diana’s memory in another way at the ceremony – with a lavish floral arrangement.
With the help of floral designer Philippa Craddock, the couple created the unique display of beech branches, birch and hornbeam, peonies, foxgloves, and white garden roses (one of Diana’s favorite flowers).
They positioned the flowers at the chapel’s front door, and the arrangement proved to be the perfect backdrop for Markle’s entrance. Craddock specializes in utilizing seasonal flowers, and her use of the in-season white garden roses proved to be a perfect choice.
A travelling Escort of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment lead the procession of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex through Windsor Town. The Household Cavalry are among several Armed Forces personnel with a special relationship with Prince Harry providing ceremonial support at the wedding and carriage procession #RoyalWedding
Princess Diana’s love of white flowers is well-known, and Kensington Palace still has many planted in her honor. She also loved Forget-Me-Nots, and Harry hand-picked some of that particular flower from the couple’s private garden for his bride’s bespoke bouquet. The palace confirms that the use of the Forget-Me-Nots was an intentional choice to honor Diana’s memory on her son’s wedding day.
Now that the big day is over, Meghan and Harry will donate the arrangements to various charitable organizations in England.
The newlyweds also did one more thing to remember the beloved Princess. Diana’s sister, Lady Jane Fellowes, gave an emotional reading from the Old Testament book, The Song of Solomon. Officials said in a statement from Kensington Palace earlier this month that Harry and Meghan felt honored that Lady Jane would be representing the Spencer family and celebrating Diana’s memory on their wedding day.
As for Prince William and Prince Harry’s dad, Prince Charles, he gave a heartfelt speech at the couple’s lunch reception. He said that he was proud of the man his son has grown into, and he was happy to help by walking Meghan down the aisle. He concluded his remarks by saying, “My darling old Harry, I’m so happy for you.”