Friday, 18 April 2008

Primrose Day


19th April is Primrose Day. Upon the death of British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli (Lord Beaconsfield), on 19 April 1881, Primrose Day was instituted in his honour, as the English primrose was his favourite flower.

Queen Victoria sent bouquets of primroses to his funeral. According to a contemporary account:
"The coffin lies on its bier in an alcove leading out of the modest hall of Hughenden Manor. But of its material, one might almost say of its dimensions, nothing can be seen. It is literally one mass of floral beauty. Here are wreaths from every member of the Royal Family in England bouquets of primroses sent by the Queen, with an inscription attached to them, saying that they came from Osborne Hill, and that they are of the sort which Lord Beaconsfield loved."

Two years later, a bronze statue of Disraeli, Lord Beaconsfield was erected at Parliament Square, and it became customary to decorate it with primroses every year on the anniversary of his death. Around this time the woodlands of England are seen carpeted with wild primroses.

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