When Prince Harry recited his vows to Meghan Markle in front of friends, family, and millions of royal watchers on Saturday, May 19, someone very special was there in spirit. While the late Princess Diana may be gone, she is by no means forgotten — and the royal wedding ceremony was littered with special touches and hand-selected moments to remind everyone of her lasting presence.
By far, one of the most iconic moments from the royal wedding was Meghan’s breathtaking entrance. Not only did it give us our first glimpse of her gorgeous Givenchy gown, but it also created one of the most striking images of the day, as she walked beneath the stunning floral arrangement that cascaded around the entrance to the chapel and held a beautiful bouquet in her hands.
The floral display was filled with white garden roses as well as Forget-Me-Nots, which were one of Princess Diana’s favorite flowers. According to the palace, Forget-Me-Nots were also present in Meghan’s bouquet and were an intentional addition to the wedding in order to honor Diana’s memory. In fact, Prince Harry hand-picked several flowers for the bouquet himself from the couple’s private garden at Kensington Palace, Diana’s former residence, before heading to Windsor on Friday. People reports that he then gave them to florist Philippa Craddock to add to Meghan’s bespoke bridal bouquet, which also included scented sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine and astrantia, and sprigs of myrtle.
Those who have visited Kensington Palace in the last year might already know that the “White Garden” (which is also covered in white garden roses) was opened on the grounds for the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death. It was also in that same garden that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle posed for their first photo shoot after announcing their engagement in November 2017.
Another way in which Princess Diana’s memory was honored was in the wedding gifts — or lack thereof. Rather than accept gravy boats and toasters from the 600 attendees, the couple asked that guests donate to their favorite charities, which include causes like HIV awareness and homeless that Princess Diana championed in her lifetime.
“The couple have personally chosen 7 charities which represent a range of issues that they are passionate about,” the Palace said in a statement earlier this year. “Including sport for social change, women’s empowerment, conservation, the environment, homelessness, HIV and the Armed Forces.”
The service at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle was also attended by many family members on Princess Diana’s side, including her eldest sister Lady Jane Fellowes, who gave a touching reading before the congregation.
And of course, who could forget that the engagement ring Prince Harry had custom designed for Meghan that was partially sourced from his mother’s jewels? He explained the significance at the time in their engagement interview, saying:
“The ring is yellow gold because that’s [Meghan’s] favorite. The main stone I sourced from Botswana and the stones on the side are from my mother’s jewelry collection to make sure she’s with us on this crazy journey together.”
While Prince Harry has said that he spent far too long trying not to talk about his mother and suppressing his emotions over her passing, he has since come a long way from that. Now it seems, all he wants to do is remember her for the incredible woman and mother she was and to keep her memory alive. And of course, make her proud.
“I hope that a lot of my mother’s talents are shown in a lot of the work I do,” he told Good Morning America in 2016, two months before meeting Meghan. “I hope she’s looking down, you know, with tears in her eyes … I hope that everything we do privately and officially, that it makes her proud.”