Today, I spent the day saying good-bye to London for a few weeks. This week has been unforgettable and the images of everything I saw, heard and experienced will remain with me always. It was a party London will not soon forget.
Cristen and I spent some relaxing time going through stacks of newspapers and magazines,
I wrote my best wishes at the book at Peter Jones,
and I made one more trek to the Abbey, to see the beautiful floral decorations and trees that have been left behind for the week. The Abbey was adhering to a strict no photos policy, so I can't share any of my photos with you, but I can tell you that Westminster Abbey was dressed up in all its glory, shining like I've never seen it before, as rays of sunlight flooded through the stained glass windows.
Perhaps you've heard in the many reports that have aired since that day, that almost simultaneously as they were pronounced husband and wife, the sun broke through the clouds and rays of sunlight fell through the Abbey. Some guests have since remarked that the burst of light was a symbol that William's mother, Diana, was looking down with pride and approval of the wonderful union that her sweet young man has made with his adoring princess.
Just outside, we signed a book of good wishes for the happy couple.
We had the amazing chance to view all the trees and enormous floral arrangements that decorated the Abbey. There were 6 field maples and 2 hornbeam trees that flanked the aisle, of heights reaching almost 25 feet, softening the church. The floral designer, Shane Connolly, said that Kate Middleton was eager to use seasonal British flowers in the arrangements. Almost 30,000 flowers, most which were taken from Windsor Great Park's Valley Gardens adorned the altar area in neutral colors of white, cream and green.
Her bouquet was surprisingly small, made up of myrtle, lily of the valley, sweet William, and hyacinth. The myrtle was taken from two sources: from a plant at Osbourne House that has been there since it was planted by Queen Victoria in 1845, and from another that was grown from the myrtle in Queen Elizabeth's wedding bouquet in 1947. Every royal bride since Queen Victoria has had a sprig of myrtle in her bouquet.
One of the highlights of our visit today to the Abbey was seeing Kate's bouquet which was returned to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This has been a tradition since the time of the Queen Mother's wedding to the future George VI in 1923, when she left her bouquet at the grave in honor of her brother, Fergus, who was killed in action in 1915. Since that time, royal brides have either left their bouquet as they leave, or have returned their bouquet after bridal portraits. The tomb holds the body of a soldier killed in the First World War and has come to symbolize those who have lost their lives in war.
Touching, and poignant. A sweet finale to a beautiful beginning for the future of the young royals and the hope of blessed days ahead.