THE Queen received a very special delivery from Craigavon Senior High School during her recent visit to the province.
Sam Gardiner MLA was asked by the school’s Lurgan Campus to have a medieval style bouquet, which they had created to mark the Queen’s recent diamond jubilee visit, delivered to Her Majesty.
Mr Gardiner said :
“I was honoured to be asked to ensure the bouquet was delivered. It really is a remarkable and beautiful gift from the school. The bouquet is a recreation of a medieval style bouquet presented by King Henry VIII to his second wife Anne Boleyn on the occasion of the birth of their daughter, the first Queen Elizabeth in 1533. It is, therefore, a very apt present to give to the second Queen Elizabeth on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee.”
“The Diamond Jubilee Party at Stormont, where I was able to pass on the gift, was the culmination of an immensely successful royal visit. The huge welcome which Her Majesty received is a testimony to both Her Majesty’s and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh’s immense personal popularity and the love and affection in which they are both held by the people of Northern Ireland.”
The medieval style bouquet of damask Irish linen napkins and fresh cut roses was designed and created by Vice Principal Eileen Cousins and Valerie Stretton, the school librarian, helped by Head Girls Faith Parks and Laura Stevenson and pupils in Craigavon High School in honour of Her Majesty’s diamond Jubilee visit to Northern Ireland.
The bouquet was sent to Hillsborough Castle with a card which read: “This historical and symbolic bouquet has been inspired by Henry VIII’s gift to his second wife Anne Boleyn upon the birth of their daughter Elizabeth I.
“The story is told of a barren \English landscape, veiled in snow that could not produce fresh flowers for Anne Boleyn. Henry in total devotion and knowing his beloved Anne’s passion for flowers and silk, presented her with six dozen silk roses.
“Today in commemoration of this unique and regal act of love, the staff and pupils of Craigavon Senior High School have great pleasure in offering this Medieval designed Linen Lilies and Fresh Roses bouquet to Her Majesty.
“Thomas Ferguson Irish Linen, Co Down, the last Damask Linen manufacturers in Ireland helped make our bouquet possible having contributed one dozen of their unique Celtic napkins.
“We celebrate Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee and congratulate her on this momentous achievement.”