Prince Charles honored his late great-uncle Lord Mountbatten during his marriage to Princess Diana 40 years ago, according to a new Royal documentary.
Florist David Longman, a member of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, which created the flower arrangements for the 1981 wedding, revealed that Charles asked Diana to include Mountbatten roses in his bridal bouquet.
Mountbatten, who was assassinated by the IRA in 1979, was a mentor to the Prince of Wales and encouraged him to ‘sow wild wheat’ with his girlfriend Camilla Parker Bowles, who is now his second wife.
He then invited the newlyweds – the Prince and Princess of Wales – to spend the first three days of their honeymoon in his country’s Broadlands.
Prince Charles honored his late great-uncle Lord Mountbatten during his marriage to Princess Diana 40 years ago, according to a new Royal documentary. Charles and Diana photographed on their wedding day in 1981
Mountbatten, who was assassinated by the IRA in 1979, was a mentor to the Prince of Wales. This couple poses for a photo together at a polo match in 1977
Florist David Longman, member of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, created the flower arrangements for the 1981 wedding. He is pictured preparing the bridal bouquet before the wedding
“My conversations with Lady Diana were very similar to so many of the discussions I had with brides and what they wanted,” Longman said.
‘I showed her the designs – we had a lot more designs and more elaborate designs than I would show a normal bride. We spoke to the tailor before. I have seen tailors.
‘Emanuel is very careful and won’t tell me much, which I quite understand. They did give me a patch of material so I could get a feel for what it would be like later.
‘And they showed me an outline sketch so I knew it was going to be a very bold dress. She was like any other bride, excited, interested, wanting guidance on what she was going to have, very normal, very, very normal young bride.
‘He chose this one, which is a long wreath, lily of the valley, stephanotis, orchid. The prince made one wish and it was a Mountbatten rose in memory of his uncle, who was very close to him. He really wanted it.
‘There is only one farmer. It’s not really a rose – it’s a garden rose. And it’s only one color because there’s a rose gold in the middle of the bouquet.’
Mountbatten will spend the first three days of their honeymoon at his Broadlands estate. The Prince and Princess of Wales pictured opening the Mountbatten Exhibition in Broadlands
Longman, whose father made displays for the Queen and Princess Margaret’s wedding, revealed that Diana made one request. “He’s very easy to deal with,” he added. “He’s not very demanding. She is always charming.
‘If you look at the photos from Princess Elizabeth’s wedding, you’ll see that it’s a huge photo with all the bridesmaids, everyone carrying bouquets of flowers, except the bride.
‘The princess asked for her wreath to be placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. ‘Lady Diana had heard this story so she said: ‘Could we please have two bouquets of flowers?’
‘So we had one taken straight to the grave and the other sent to Buckingham Palace to be photographed.’
The Prince of Wales and Lord Mountbatten are pictured in full navy uniform during a visit to Nepal in 1975 to attend the coronation of King Birendra
The documentary The Wedding of the Century, which premiered on BritBox on Thursday, also revealed that Prince Charles, who famously said ‘whatever love means’ during his engagement interviews, put his stamp on other aspects of the ceremony.
The former chief baker of the Royal Navy, who met Charles in 1979 when he was baking a cake for the inauguration ceremony of HMS Bulwark, revealed that he insisted that the red Welsh dragon emblem be painted on the cake.
‘I met Prince Charles when he was in the Citadel,’ said Avery, who was the Chief Petty Officer between 1962 and 1984. ‘They wanted the cake and Prince Charles cut the cake.
‘ He pointed to it and said: ‘Have you made this? Beautiful cake.’ So, I’m pretty happy about that. When Mark Phillips married Princess Anne, the Army did the cake.
‘So my Admiral contacted the Palace and said: ‘It would be nice if the Navy got a chance to bake a wedding cake.’ I was in cooking school at the time as a senior instructor teaching cake making for boys.
“I was told I was baking a wedding cake but I can’t say anything to anyone until the press release. I was quite happy about it in the beginning.
Former Royal Navy chief baker David Avery, who met Charles in 1979 when he was baking a cake for the inauguration ceremony of HMS Bulwark, was the man behind the couple’s five-foot-tall wedding cake (pictured)
‘To be chosen, to make the future King and Queen’s wedding cake, you can’t get a higher honor, can you? But as time went on, I always thought that one day I would be placed in the tower if something went wrong.
‘I met Diana at Buckingham Palace to show her the designs. She is very kind. I, too, am not afraid, but afraid to meet him and that’s what he told me: ‘I was worried about meeting you and it was nice.’
‘He told me that all he wanted was a wedding cake – he didn’t want a monument. But when Diana saw the plan, everything was fine, she was happy about it and we thought great.
“But then we got a call that Prince Charles wasn’t happy and we thought: ‘Oh my.’ But what they used to name it the Red Dragon, so I had to put the Red Dragon emblem on the front of the cake and that was the only change.’
Finally, Barry Rose, the former choirmaster of St Paul’s admits that Prince Charles has chosen the venue, as well as the music, turning to his friend, the late Sir David Wilcox who was Director of Music at King’s College, Cambridge when he was a student. .
‘Charles has a voice in it,’ he said. ‘I think he is one of the music, he really plays the cello, I believe.’
The Wedding of the Century premieres on BritBox on Thursday 15 July.