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Queen Mother started royal wedding tradition for poignant reason

This year marks 100 years since the burial of the Unknown Warrior

queen mother bouquet
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
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Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie are among the royal brides to have placed their bouquets on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey after their weddings – but who started the tradition?

When Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, who later became the Queen Mother, married Prince Albert (later King George VI) in 1923, she laid her bridal bouquet at the Tomb as tribute to her brother Fergus, who died at the Battle of Loos in 1915.

The incredibly poignant gesture started a royal wedding tradition, which has been honoured by brides ever since.

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On Remembrance Sunday last week, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie shared photos of their wedding bouquets laid on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.

Beatrice, 32, who married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in July, tweeted: "Today we remember and honour all those who sacrificed so much for us. We shall never forget!" 

beatrice bouquet© Photo: Getty Images

Princess Beatrice's bouquet on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior

Her younger sister Eugenie, 30, shared an image of her royal wedding flowers from 2018, and said: "Today on Remembrance Day we remember all those who have given their lives in wars so bravely. The Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey honours all those. As with tradition, my bouquet was laid on there."

The service at Westminster Abbey on Wednesday commemorated the funeral of an unknown British serviceman, the Unknown Warrior, whose body was brought from Northern France and buried at the west end of the nave on 11th November 1920 to represent all those who lost their lives in the First World War but whose place of death was not known, or whose bodies remained unidentified.

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queen bouquet unknown warrior© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen with a replica of her wedding bouquet at the Tomb

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall attended the special service in London, where Charles placed a wreath at the grave, which was a replica of the one laid by the Prince's great-grandfather, George V, at the funeral in 1920.

The Queen also laid a replica of her own bridal bouquet on the Tomb during a personal visit to Westminster Abbey last week.

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