How Meghan ensured she had a part in Prince Philip's funeral – with a handwritten note on wreath

Victoria Ward
·2 min read
Meghan was watching the funeral on television at home in Montecito, California - Ben Birchall/AFP
Meghan was watching the funeral on television at home in Montecito, California - Ben Birchall/AFP

The Duchess of Sussex wrote the card attached to the wreath sent by her and Prince Harry to ensure that, in a small way, she played a part in the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral service.

Meghan, who is heavily pregnant with the couple's second child, had hoped to attend the ceremony but was advised against travelling by her doctor. The 39-year-old was watching the funeral on television at home in Montecito, California.

The Sussexes' tribute was among nine family wreaths laid in the Quire of St George's Chapel, propped against the stalls on each side of the Duke's coffin. Buckingham Palace aides declined to provide details of the other wreaths, saying they were private.

But a source close to the Sussexes confirmed that theirs had been designed and handmade by Willow Crossley, a Cotswold florist known for her natural, rustic arrangements.

The variety of locally sourced flowers, some of which were picked from the designer's garden, were chosen due to their particular significance.

Prince Harry and Meghan asked for it to include Acanthus mollis, or bear's breeches, the national flower of Greece, to represent the Duke's heritage; Eryngium, or sea holly, to represent the Royal Marines; Campanula, to represent "gratitude and everlasting love"; rosemary to signify remembrance; lavender for devotion, and roses in honour of the Duke's birth month of June.

Ms Crossley impressed the couple with decorations for the evening event at Frogmore House following their wedding in May 2018 and was later chosen to do the flower arrangements at the christening of their son, Archie, and the launch event for the Hubb Community cookbook at Kensington Palace.

At the time of the christening in July 2019, the Sussexes did not announce who had arranged the flowers.

Prince Philip funeral 2
Prince Philip funeral 2

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Sussexes confirmed that the Duke was wearing his KCVO Neck Order and Star, Afghanistan Campaign medal, Gold Jubilee medal, and Diamond Jubilee medal and highlighted the "unique connection" he had with his grandfather in their shared active service – including in combat – as part of the British Armed Forces.

He noted that the Duke of Edinburgh was a decorated Naval officer whose military career spanned the Second World War, while his grandson's 10 years of active-duty service included two tours of duty on the frontlines in Afghanistan.

On his return from Afghanistan, Prince Harry was inspired to create the Invictus Games, one of the many military and veteran organisations he continues to work with and support, they said.