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Meghan’s bouquet laid on grave of Unknown Warrior

The royal tradition at Westminster Abbey dates back to 1923.

The Duchess of Sussex has followed the poignant royal tradition of having her wedding bouquet left at the grave of the Unknown Warrior.

The resting place at Westminster Abbey holds the remains of a First World War soldier who has come to symbolise the nation’s war dead.

In 1923 the late Queen Mother began the long-standing tradition when her posy was left at the grave following her wedding to the Duke of York, later George VI.

She left the flowers in memory of her brother Fergus, who was killed in 1915 during the global conflict.

Convention dictates that the day after royal weddings the floral tribute is sent to the Abbey once the official wedding pictures of the bride and groom have been taken.

Meghan’s bridal bouquet which has been tied with a delicate pink ribbon, and includes scented sweet peas, as well as jasmine and lily of the valley, has been placed at the bottom of the grave, and will stay in place until it wilts.

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The grave is marked out by poppies in Westminster Abbey (Victoria Jones/PA)

The Duke of Sussex and his new bride remembered the late Diana, Princess of Wales, at their wedding by also selecting forget-me-nots, her favourite flowers, for the bouquet.

Harry also contributed by hand-picking several flowers from their private garden at Kensington Palace a day ahead of Saturday’s wedding, the palace said.

Myrtle sprigs from stems planted at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight by Queen Victoria in 1845 also featured, furthering another long-standing tradition.

Sprigs were also used from a plant grown from the myrtle in the Queen’s wedding bouquet in 1947.

The myrtle tradition began when Princess Victoria, the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria, carried the flowers at her wedding in 1858.

The Unknown Warrior’s body was brought from France and buried on Armistice Day, November 11 1920. It is thought the idea came from the Rev David Railton, who had served as a chaplain on the Western Front.

To the surprise of the organisers during the week after the burial an estimated 1.2 million people visited the Abbey, and the site is now one of the most visited war graves in the world.

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