Floral engagement and lost love birds
In 1981 the year prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer announced their engagement to be married I was hired as part of a team of florist to decorate the marque that held the Berkeley square ball in central London. We had to arrive very early that meant leaving home at two o clock in the morning . The theme for the flowers was to be love and romance and the colour scheme pink and white Beautiful exotic flowers had been imported from all over the world , it was like opening Pandora's box , large oriental Asiatic and cala lilies , cymbidium and dendrobium orchids roses and Gerber's were used in the large pedestal arrangements whilst freesia were used in the table posies. Garden trellis were erected to create separate smaller areas to make the setting more romantic. Hours were spent pinning cut ivy and rusks to the trellis to give the appearance of creeping vines. Cut flowers were then attached to the foliage, we used carnations as hardy flowers that would not wilt out of water.
Whilst we worked we were entertained by the celebrities rehearsing their routines.It mad us feel very special listening to Elaine Page singing her hits from Evita and Bonny Langford dancing with Lionel Blair and his sister. They even took the time to come over and admire our work. As a finishing romantic gesture several pairs of love birds were hung in beautiful white cages around the marque. Unfortunately one cage was dropped and the door sprung open realising one love bird into the marque.
It flew around a couple times whilst we all gave chase. One florist came close to catching it but it managed to find a gap under the canvass and was lost. We all felt very upset and sorry for the one bird left on its own. A decision was made to release the remaining bird into the square so that they could be together. I have often wondered if the birds did find each other and always hoped they lived happily ever after.