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The secrets behind the royal wedding flowers and Windsor weather

Crab apples, Chinese lanterns, just-picked hops and a lot of cable ties! How Eugenie and Jack's VERY seasonal royal wedding flowers perfectly reflect autumn – and the secrets keeping them together in the Windsor wind

  • Princess Eugenie, 28, has hired Rob Van Helden to style flowers for ceremony
  • Exterior displays reflect season, says expert florist Willow Crossley
  • Displays include hydrangeas, crab apples, roses and foliage from Windsor
  • Society florist has created autumnal arrangements for St George's Chapel
  • London based Van Helden created flowers for Pippa Middleton's wedding
  • Team worked through the night to create dramatic arches at Chapel's entrance

By Siofra Brennan For Mailonline

Published: 03:16 EDT, 12 October 2018 | Updated: 06:12 EDT, 12 October 2018

The royal wedding flowers – including dramatic floral arches featuring seasonal blooms and foliage from Windsor Great Park and more exotic elements such as Chinese lanterns – have stood up remarkably well to the British weather.

Princess Eugenie and her new husband Jack Brooksbank chose London-based society florist Rob Van Helden, who has worked with celebrities such as Elton John, to create the autumnal themed floral displays for her St George's Chapel ceremony.

The blushing bride might not have countered on fierce winds blowing through Windsor today but, thankfully a few trusty florist's secrets have kept Van Helden's ornate displays intact.

Guests have been passing through arches that include classic blooms such as roses, spray roses, hydrangeas, dahlias and berries. However, the society florist has also added in some more unique elements to perfectly reflect the season, says expert florist Willow Crossley.

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A stunning floral arch at St George's Chapel, featuring foliage from Windsor Great Park and fresh flowers, created by society florist Rob Van Helden

Princess Eugenie has chosen London-based society florist Rob Van Helden (left, with his partner Sebastien Barbereau) who works with celebrities such as Elton John to create the floral displays for her St George's Chapel ceremony

Princess Eugenie has chosen London-based society florist Rob Van Helden (left, with his partner Sebastien Barbereau) who works with celebrities such as Elton John to create the floral displays for her St George's Chapel ceremony

Buckingham Palace has released a sneak preview of the autumnal themed displays at St George's chapel, created by society florist Rob Van Helden

Buckingham Palace has released a sneak preview of the autumnal themed displays at St George's chapel, created by society florist Rob Van Helden

She told Femail: 'There are crab apples, hips, bright orange Chinese lanterns and just-picked hops which will have come from the local area, I'd imagine.'

And how to counter the weather? 'Cable ties! And lots of them. They're a florist's best friend. Also there's something called Oasis, which is like a florist's foam, which helps too. They're certainly looking robust against the weather'.

The West Steps to St George's Chapel, by which the bride and groom entered, was by this morning bedecked on gorgeous autumnal foliage and four giant maple trees dwarfed the entrance door, which will be planted later in the grounds of Frogmore House on the Windsor estate.

Crossly estimates the flowers would have cost thousands if commissioned and Van Helden and his team are likely to have worked through the night to get everything looking perfect.

Van Helden's services may well have been recommended by Pippa Middleton, as he created floral displays for her wedding to James Matthews in May 2017 and he's also worked for Princess Margaret and Elton John.

Mr Van Helden said: 'It has been the greatest privilege and honour to create the flowers for Princess Eugenie and Jack, on their Wedding day.

Her Royal Highness has been very involved from the start and has been instrumental in the autumnal theme.

Princess Eugenie and her fiance Jack Brooksbank will exchange vows at St George's Chapel, Windsor today at 11am 

Princess Eugenie and her fiance Jack Brooksbank will exchange vows at St George's Chapel, Windsor today at 11am

The whole floral design team and I wish Princess Eugenie and Jack our heartfelt congratulations and we hope they have a magical Wedding day.'

Holland born Rob Van Helden spent his childhood surrounded by flowers and moved to London 31 years ago, where he started his floristry business from the back of his car.

He now works for clients all over the world, including royalty and celebrities.

Some of his most prestigious commissions including creating displays for Princess Margaret's 70th birthday, Elton John’s civil partnership and the Beckham’s World Cup party.

Eugenie, 28, the daughter of Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York, will marry her boyfriend of seven years at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle at 11am today in a ceremony attended by most senior members of the Royal Family and with Prince George and Princess Charlotte as page boy and bridesmaid.

Her grandfather, Prince Philip, is coming out of his retirement from public life for the event, despite having an enduringly frosty relationship with his former daughter-in-law, the duchess.

The princess will arrive with her father in the same Rolls Royce 1950 Phantom IV that was lent to the now-Duchess of Sussex on her wedding day by the Queen.

It was made for the monarch when she was still a princess and the first Rolls Royce that she and Prince Philip had, a sign of how special the vehicle is.

Philip hasn't been able to forgive her for being photographed having her feet kissed by financial adviser John Bryan in 1992, which ultimately led to her divorce from his son.

One of the Autumnal themed displays outside St George's Chapel. Bride Princess Eugenie was instrumental in choosing the look and theme of the floral arrangements 

One of the Autumnal themed displays outside St George's Chapel. Bride Princess Eugenie was instrumental in choosing the look and theme of the floral arrangements

But as the mother of the bride, Sarah has taken a major role in organising the wedding and will be centre stage, with the rest of the Royal Family, on the day.

Stars predicted to attend the second royal wedding of the year include singer Ellie Goulding, supermodel Cindy Crawford, Prince Harry's ex, actress Cressida Bonas, who is one of Eugenie's best friends, model Cara Delevingne, singer James Blunt and George and Amal Clooney, who also attended May's royal wedding.

The Queen is hosting an afternoon reception afterwards in the castle's St George's Hall, but the festivities will continue into the early hours with an evening party at the York family home.

The Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park has had a fairground set up in the garden, complete with dodgems and a coconut shy.

Members of the public will have the chance to see the newlyweds in a carriage procession through Windsor town centre.

About 1,200 members of the public have also been given balloted invites to the castle's Lower Ward, as have charity representatives, children from Eugenie's old schools, and royal household staff.

Broadcast footage will be live streamed on The Royal Channel and the Duke of York's YouTube channels, and the royal family and Andrew's Facebook pages.

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