These are the flowers we might expect to see at King Charles III’s coronation

king charles coronation flowers
The King's Coronation flowersGetty Images

The King’s Coronation flowers may seem like a small part of the monumental day, but each bloom will be carefully selected for specific reasons.

Whether at coronations, within wedding bouquets, or at the funerals of Royal Family members, each flower holds special significance.

Flowers have already been featured heavily around the Coronation. The official logo, for instance, features the floral emblems of different countries of the United Kingdom, while the Coronation invitation is intricately decorated with a wide variety of symbolic flowers.

Traditionally, white flowers have been used for big royal occasions, but the colourful illustrations of the invitation hinted towards a brighter display this time round. In the week leading up to the Coronation, royal florist Shane Connolly confirmed that the colour scheme would be, "almost like a stained glass window – the deep reds, earthy colours, coppery colours and fresh green," (via The Telegraph).

At Good Housekeeping, we’ve been at the British Library researching the flowers used during some of the most poignant moments in royal history, to build a better picture of exactly which blooms we can expect to see from King Charles’ Coronation, and why.

'Floriography’, or the language of flowers (which became particularly popular under Queen Victoria’s reign), can also give us some hints towards their deeper meanings.

Where will King Charles’ coronation flowers be taken from?

The Royal Family have confirmed that the flowers being used at the Coronation have been gathered from every corner of the nation.

"From the Isle of Skye to the coast of Cornwall, and from the mountains of Snowdonia to Tobermore in Northern Ireland, over 120 varieties of flowers have been grown by over 80 members of Flowers from the Farm, a non-profit association that champions artisan growers, on farmland, allotments and cutting gardens across the four nations of the United Kingdom," read a statement on social media.

It added that, "Foliage at the High Altar has been provided from the five Royal Horticultural Society gardens from across the British Isles, including branches from the pair of Dawyck beech trees planted by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip."

kings coronation flowers
Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images

For Queen Elizabeth II's funeral, flowers were taken from royal residences including Buckingham Palace and two of The King and Queen Consort’s residences, Clarence House and Highgrove House.

Which flowers will be at King Charles’ coronation?

Exactly which flowers will be appearing in displays, bouquets or iconographic decorations, and how they will be presented will be fully unveiled at the ceremony. However, some varieties have now been revealed, and there are also lots of clues throughout history as to why certain blooms might be chosen.

Here, we take a look back at some of the most poignant flowers from royal events of the past, and the meanings behind them.

Lily of the valley (convallaria majalis)

king charles coronation flowers
photo by Bill Koplitz - Getty Images

Lily of the valley was one of the flowers illustrated on The King’s Coronation invitation, holds sentimental connection to his mother and, in an interview with The Telegraph, royal florist Shane Connolly confirmed its inclusion in the day.

The bloom was famously a favourite of Queen Elizabeth II, starring in her Coronation bouquet at the beginning of her reign, and being made into a custom brooch for her recent Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

The flowers were also used at the wedding of the current Prince and Princess of Wales, and Kate's bridesmaids wore it entwined with ivy in their hair.

king coronation flowers
AFP - Getty Images

Traditionally, the flowers symbolises good luck and happiness and are said to help visualise a better world. The flowers were also hung inside the Gold State Coach with Queen Elizabeth II (along with other sweet-smelling flowers) during her Golden Jubilee to symbolise the wish of a long reign, so they are a fitting choice at The King's Coronation.

Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis)

king charles coronation flowers
Leon Neal - Getty Images

Rosemary is a symbol of affectionate remembrance and was used in the funeral flowers of both The King’s mother, Queen Elizabeth II, and father, Prince Philip. The flower was also featured in the illustrations on the invite for his Coronation.

We spotted rosemary in a preview video of florists unloading blooms for the big day and it's likely feature as a nod towards the loved ones who are not able to be there with The King.

Tulips (tulipa)

king coronation flowers
Alex AVEDESSIAN / 500px - Getty Images

Over 30 varieties of tulips are expected to be included in The King's Coronation flowers selection, according to the official florist for the event, Shane Connolly.

“The flowers are one of the things that can reflect the real characters of the King and Queen, simple garden flowers that are British seasonal, like they might cut themselves from their own gardens. I felt that was really important," he said in an interview with The Telegraph.

For the same reason, he confirmed that azaleas, crab apples and rhododendrons will also be included in displays.

What is The King's favourite flower?

Hellebore (helleborus)

According to Shane Connolly, hellebores are a favourite of The King. His Majesty wore them in his buttonhole at his wedding and Shane has confirmed that they will be included in the displays at Westminster Abbey.


In 2020, The King (then Prince Charles) revealed that delphiniums were another of his personal favourite flowers. In floriography, they symbolise lightness and an open heart.

In a social media post in collaboration with the Chelsea Flower Show in 2020, he said, “For me, the magnificent, gloriously apparelled delphinium, with its impeccable bearing and massed in platoons, holds pride of place in my botanical affections."

What is The Queen Consort's favourite flower?

Lady’s Mantle (alchemilla mollis)

Of course, it is not only The King who is being coronated this May. The Queen Consort, will be crowned alongside her husband and is likely to have had some input on decisions. While still Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, she revealed her particular preference for Alchemilla Mollis.

“This acid green fluffy-flowered plant is one of the best-ever foliage plants for the garden and the vase. A must for every gardener," The Queen Consort said as part of another social media post coinciding with the Chelsea Flower Show.

Orange blossom (citrus x aurantium)

king charles coronation flowers
By Eve Livesey - Getty Images

Despite its name, orange blossom is a delicate white flower which was a particular favourite of Queen Victoria, although also used by Queen Elizabeth II.

During their engagement, Prince Albert sent his wife-to-be a gold and porcelain brooch in the shape of the flower. Then, on her wedding day, Queen Victoria wore a wreath of them around her head in place of a crown, while Queen Mary (The Queen’s grandmother) adorned her wedding dress with the same blossoms.

Meanings behind orange blossom include fruitfulness as well as betrothal and, given that The King’s wife will be coronated alongside him, it could be a fitting choice for the day.

Myrtle (vinca minor)

king charles coronation flowers
I just try to tell my emotions and take you around the world - Getty Images

Myrtle has a long history within the Royal Family, although is more traditionally seen at weddings. A sprig of Myrtle from the same bush has been incorporated into the bouquets of royal brides since the 1850s.

As well as symbolising love, myrtle can also mean sweet memories and was seen in The Queen’s funeral bouquet, so it may be a sentimental pick for The King to feature.

Cherry blossom (prunus x yedoensis)

In December 2022, the Princess of Wales assisted in the planting of a cherry blossom tree outside of Westminster Abbey in memory of Queen Elizabeth II.

As the Coronation ceremony will be taking place at the Abbey, we can expect to see the tree in footage of the day, even if the flowers are not featured in any additional displays.

An avenue of ‘prunus x yedoensis’ cherry blossom trees were also planted in Edinburgh as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy project (a tree planting initiative connected to Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee), and has similarly been dedicated to her memory.

Of course, we now also know that branches from Dawyck beech trees which were planted by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip will be featured inside the Abbey.

Bear's breeches (acanthus mollis)

king charles coronation flowers
Photos from Japan, Asia and othe of the world - Getty Images

Bear’s breeches are the national flower of Greece and could be included in the Coronation Day flowers as a nod towards The King’s Greek heritage through his father, Prince Philip.

The Duke of Edinburgh was born in Greece to Greek and Danish Royal Families before renouncing his rights to those thrones in order to marry Queen Elizabeth II. In reference to his upbringing, the national flower was included at Prince Philip’s funeral.

Carnation (dianthus caryophyllus)

king charles coronation flowers
Daniela Duncan - Getty Images

Carnations from Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man featured at The Queen’s coronation in 1953, as a nod towards other regions under her reign.

White carnations in particular are said to symbolise faith and purity. This could be especially appropriate due to the religious nature of the Coronation ceremony, and The King’s new role as Supreme Governor of the Church of England (a role all monarchs take on when they become King or Queen).


king charles coronation flowers
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Another flower which was part of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation bouquet was stephanotis, which came from Scotland. The bloom often symbolises marital happiness which makes it a fitting choice given her husband, Prince Philip, was being crowned alongside her.

As The King and Queen Consort are also being crowned together, it could be that we see this flower included in the same way.

Meadow and wildflowers

king charles coronation flowers
Jacky Parker Photography - Getty Images

The King’s and Queen Consort’s former residence, Highgrove House, was home to magnificent gardens which were open to the public. Re-wilding is a growing trend (featuring at Chelsea Flower Show in 2022) and is spotlighted with a special meadow in Highgrove Gardens.

There are also wildflowers illustrated around the edge of the official Coronation invite, and we know that the official florist has stated that flowers which the royal couple could have grown themselves will be included.

Wisteria (wisteria sinensis)

Wisteria is one of the key flowers which is features around the wildflower meadow at Highgrove Gardens, as do lots of fastigate hornbeams. As flowers from royal residences are likely to be included at the Coronation, these could be some of the varieties used.

Bluebells (hyacinthoides non-scripta [common Bluebell] or campanula rotundifolia [Scottish bluebell/ harebell)

Bluebells are one of the most distinctive wildflowers in the United Kingdom and they will also be in season at the time of the coronation.

We saw bluebells on the official coronation invitation, and the common bluebell usually seen in England traditionally means gratitude and consistency, both fitting qualities for the crowning of a new king. The Scottish bluebell (also known as a harebell) may be incorporated too, which carries meanings of truth as well as gratitude.

Traditional floral emblems

king charles coronation flowers
SOPA Images - Getty Images

The national floral symbols of various parts of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth have traditionally been sewn into the gowns of Royal Family members over the years, including Queen Elizabeth’s coronation dress, as well as her wedding dress and that of Queen Victoria and the current Princess of Wales.

Some such flowers appear in the The King’s Coronation logo, so we expect to see them represented on the day in some way, whether as emblems or as blooms within displays.

Here are some of the key ones to look out for:

Roses (rosa)

king charles coronation
Eric Mak / EyeEm - Getty Images

Roses are the floral symbol of England, so we expect to see them within iconography in some way at the ceremony. However, we do not expect to see them in physical form as Shane Connolly has said they will not be present, following a cold season which wasn't favourable to their growth.

Daffodils (narcissus)

king charles coronation flowers
Jacky Parker Photography - Getty Images

Daffodils are the official floral symbol of Wales and connote beauty and new beginnings, which are befitting to the start of a new royal reign.

Shamrock (oxalis acetosella)

The shamrock represents Ireland and also symbolises joy and luck.

Thistle (carduus)

king charles coronation flowers
Adrian Micula / 500px - Getty Images

The thistle is the official emblem for Scotland and can also mean nobility

Maple (acer)

As well as including embroidered flowers of the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation gown featured emblems of the wider commonwealth. For instance, maple leaves were included as a nod towards Canada (which also symbolise longevity).

Lotus (nelumbo nucifera)

Lotus flowers in the design of the dress, on the other hand, referenced India and Ceylon, and these flowers connote beauty and virtue.

What will happen to the flowers after the Coronation?

Once the Coronation ceremony has finished, the flowers and foliage will be given to a charity which will redistribute the blooms.

"Following the Coronation, all the flowers and branches will be donated to Floral Angels," the Royal Family announced in a statement on social media. The post explained that the volunteer-run charity, "repurposes flowers from events into bouquets and arrangements to share with care homes, hospices, shelters and other vulnerable members of the community."

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