Common Primrose

This is the common primrose, the plain flowers of which exude a charming spring-time joy. It is the symbol of Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, and Primrose Day is held each April in his honour. Unlike his perennial rival, William Gladstone, Disraeli had a good relationship with the unmerry Wife of Windsor. While Jews in Russia were being systematically slaughtered in the pogroms, here was one who had risen to be premier of the world’s largest empire. Having no aristocratic connections, he climbed the greasy pole of power (he coined the term, which is still in use) by sheer charm, ability and appeal to ordinary voters.

Back in 1882, the Daily News thought it strange that so common and plain a flower should represent a man of Disraeli’s genius, suggesting that a ‘strange and gorgeous tropical plant, which only blossoms once in a hundred years, some blossom of piercing and pungent colour’ would have been better suited.

I would suggest that it is a singular honour to be associated with any God-created flower. Of the common field lilies, Jesus remarked:

And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

If not Solomon, neither Disraeli. The next time you see a gorgeous flower, even a common little weed, it is still prettier in its simplicity than any man in his fallen and garish resplendence.