The bride-to-be has ordered more than four tons of foliage - including eight 20ft-high trees - to recreate a lavish English country garden inside Westminster Abbey. Under the guidance of her so-called ‘floral designer’, Shane Connolly, half a dozen English Field Maples have been installed in the historic church to create a ‘Living Avenue’ under which guests will walk to their seats.
Each of the trees have been placed in a planter personally designed by Mr Connolly and hand-crafted by artisans on the Prince of Wales’s Highgrove estate.The entire scheme is believed to have cost up to £50,000 – not quite the ‘austerity’ wedding St James’s Palace originally had in mind. According to royal sources, the idea was suggested by Mr Connolly as a way of mirroring the Abbey’s famous arches. Kate fell in love with his suggestion but agreed on the environmentally-friendly proviso that the trees were seasonal and could be re-planted. Last night the 15-year-old maples, wrapped in purple ribbons and weighing half a ton each, were delivered in two articulated lorries to the Abbey’s Great West Door. Four workers struggled for more than half an hour with a miniature forklift truck to take the first tree into the Abbey, but were forced to turn it on its side . Two pyramid-shaped ornamental Hornbeams were also delivered to create a leafy ‘frame’ around the choir. The rest of the Abbey will be bedecked in armfuls of cream and white flowers.
After the wedding, the flowers and plants will be left in position in Westminster Abbey for the public to view until Friday 6th May. How very lovely.