Royal wedding florist
Shane Connolly knows that all eyes will be on his work come Friday.
But it's not the billions of TV viewers around the globe that he's worried about.
"The pressure from the world isn't important," says floral artistic director Connolly, insisting it's what Prince William
and Kate Middleton
"think that's important. I feel quite a lot of pressure. ... I just want to do my best for them. But I feel that I'm completely in tune with the client."
Middleton chose Connolly, 47, to head the royal wedding floral team early this year, and the relationship was a great one from the start.
"In the first meeting, every word we were saying to each other was, 'Oh, that's right, that's exactly what I'd want,'" he says. And despite all the attention, Connolly maintains that he's treating the monumental occasion
"like any other wedding."
Originally from Northern Ireland, Connolly has been working in floral design since 1987 (after a stint in research psychology), and currently runs Shane Connolly Flowers with business partner Jamie Marlar in West London.
He also holds a Royal Warrant from the Prince of Wales, making him an official supplier of flowers for royal events – including Princes Charles's 2005 wedding.
"The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall's wedding was very much an understated wedding, more than this one, but the approach has been exactly the same," says Connolly, who also arranged the flowers for that event.
"It's a family [affair]," he adds of William and Kate's nuptials. "They want things to reflect their personalities. It's not a statement of anything other than their individuality … It's completely straight-forward, simple, and good."