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National Flowers of Britain
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The War of the Roses

From 1455 to 1485, England was divided between two families fighting for control of the throne. The two families were the House of York and the House of Lancaster. Each house was represented by a rose. The House of York used a white rose, and the House of Lancaster used a red rose. The division between the two families became known as The War of the Roses.

The War of the Roses ended when Henry VII (representing the Lancaster family) and Elizabeth of York (representing the York family) were married. This marriage united the two families, and Henry VII became the first Tudor King of England.

The Tudor Rose

Left: The Tudor Rose and Crown From Flowton Priory. Centre The Union Rose. Right Cherubs with Rose. This fine old privately owned manor house required a large proportion of new windows to be made to complement the surviving stained glass of medieval and Victorian origin.

The Tudor family is represented by the Tudor Rose. It is a rose which combines both a red and a white rose. The Tudor Rose symbolized the union between the red rose of the House of Lancaster and the white rose of the House of York.

The union of the two families was reaffirmed when the son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York became King. This King was Henry VIII. Henry VIII's coronation stabilized the throne in England. He was a strong king and ruled for many years

What is the significance of the poppy and when is it worn?

The poppy is traditionally worn on Remembrance Day in memory of service personnel who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars and subsequent conflicts. The red poppies represent the poppies that grew in the cornfields of Flanders in the First World War where many thousands of soldiers lost their lives. The paper poppies that are worn today are made by ex-service personnel and are sold by representatives of the Royal British Legion, an organisation of ex-servicemen and women.

Remembrance Day falls on the nearest Sunday to 11 November – the day peace was declared. The day is commemorated by church services around the country and a parade of ex-services personnel in London’s Whitehall. Wreaths of poppies are left at the Cenotaph, a war memorial in Whitehall, built after the First World War.

By tradition, at 11.00am on Remembrance Sunday a two minute silence is observed at the Cenotaph and elsewhere in the country to honour those who lost their lives. In recent years, a two minute silence has also been observed at 11.00am on 11 November itself.

What are Britain’s national flowers?

The national flower of England is the rose. The flower has been adopted as England’s emblem since the time of the Wars of the Roses – civil wars (1455-1485) between the royal house of Lancaster (whose emblem was a red rose) and the royal house of York (whose emblem was a white rose).

The Yorkist regime ended with the defeat of King Richard III by the future Henry VII at Bosworth on 22 August 1485, and the two roses were united into the Tudor rose (a red rose witha white centre) by Henry VII when he married Elizabeth of York.

The national flower of Northern Ireland is the shamrock, a three-leafed plant similar to clover which is said to have been used by St. Patrick to illustrate the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.

The Scottish national flower is the thistle, a prickly-leafed purple flower which was first used in the 15th century as a symbol of defence.

The three flowers – rose, thistle and shamrock – are often displayed beneath the shield on the Royal Coat of Arms.

The national flower of Wales is usually considered to be the daffodil, which is traditionally worn on St.David’s Day. However, the humble leek is also considered to be a traditional emblem of Wales, possibly because its colours white over green, echo the ancient Welsh standard.

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