Skip to main content

The significance behind the foliage on Queen Elizabeth II's coffin


Following 10 days of national mourning for Britain's longest-reigning monarch, a state funeral was held for Queen Elizabeth II.

A gun carriage procession took Queen Elizabeth II's coffin, draped with the Royal Standard, and topped with the Imperial State Crown and other regalia, from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey on Monday.

A wreath sat on top of the coffin during the procession and service, which Buckingham Palace says has significant meaning.

At the request of King Charles III, the palace says the wreath contains flowers and foliage cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Highgrove House.

In a statement released on Monday ahead of the funeral, Buckingham Palace said the foliage has been chosen "for its symbolism."

The wreath includes rosemary "for remembrance" and myrtle, which is "the ancient symbol of a happy marriage." The palace noted this was cut from a plant that was grown from a sprig of myrtle in the Queen's wedding bouquet in 1947. The wreath also contains English oak, which "symbolizes the strength of love."

Also featured in the wreath are scented pelargoniums; garden roses; autumnal hydrangea; sedum; dahlias; and scabious. The foliage is all presented in shades of gold, pink and deep burgundy, with touches of white, to reflect the Royal Standard it sits on, the palace says.

"Again at His Majesty's request, the wreath is made in a totally sustainable way, in a nest of English moss and oak branches, and without the use of floral foam," Buckingham Palace said in the statement.

A handwritten card from King Charles III could be seen nestled in the wreath. It reads, "In loving and devoted memory. Charles R."

Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand since 1952, died on Sept. 8. She was 96.

After the state funeral, the gun carriage will take the Queen's coffin through central London to Wellington Arch where it will then be transferred to a hearse en route to Windsor Castle. She will be laid to rest there within King George VI Memorial Chapel in a private family ceremony. Top Stories


OPINION Tom Mulcair: Why Anthony Rota had no choice but to resign

Anthony Rota had no choice but to resign as House Speaker after he invited a Nazi veteran to Parliament. But, as former NDP leader Tom Mulcair writes in a column for, if history is going to retain the profound embarrassment caused by his mistake, it should also recognize the contributions Rota has made to democratic life.

Stay Connected