Flowers and gardens

The Peace Rose – Rose de la paix

Our Peace Roses are in full bloom – early this year. This beautiful yellow rose, also known as Madame Antoine Meilland, was develop by a French rose cultivator, Francis Meilland, in the late 1930s and named after his mother. It’s better known as “Peace” in English and is an interesting story.
In early 1945 Meilland wrote to Field Marshal Alan Brooke, the principal author of the master strategy that won the Second World War, to thank him for his key part in the liberation of France and to ask if Brooke would give his name to the rose. Brooke declined saying that, though he was honored to be asked, his name would soon be forgotten and a much better and more enduring name would be “Peace”.
The adoption of the trade name “Peace” was publicly announced in the United States on 29 April 1945 by the introducers, Messrs Conard Pyle Co. This was the very day that Berlin fell, officially considered the end of the Second World War in Europe. Later that year Peace roses were given to each of the delegations at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco, each with a note which read:  “We hope the ‘Peace’ rose will influence men’s thoughts for everlasting world peace.” [taken from Wikipedia]
Nos “roses de la paix” sont en pleine fleur – précocément cette année. Cette belle rose jaune, connue sous le nom de Madame Antoine Meilland, a été créé par un cultivateur de roses français, Francis Meilland, à la fin des années 30, et nommée après sa mère. On la connaît mieux sous le nom de “rose de la Paix” en anglais. L’histoire est intéressante.
Au début de l’année 1945, Meilland a écrit à Field Marshal Alan Brooke, l’auteur principal de la stratégie qui a gagné la deuxième guerre mondiale, pour le remercier de son rôle clé dans la libération de la France et pour demander si Brooke donnerait son nom à cette rose. Brooke a refusé en disant qu’il était sensible à la demande, mais que son nom serait vite oublié ; un nom plus pérenne et plus approprié serait “paix”.
L’adoption du nom de marque “Peace” était annoncé publiquement aux Etats-Unis le 29 avril 1945 par le pépiniériste Conard Pyle Co. C’est le jour même que Berlin est tombé, ce qui a marqué officiellement la fin de la deuxième guerre mondiale. Plus tard de cette même année, on a offert des roses de la paix à toutes les délégations à la réunion inaugurale des Nations Unies à San Francisco, accompagnée d’un petit mot qui disait: “Nous espérons que la rose de la Paix orientera les pensées des hommes vers une paix mondiale immortelle.” (D’après Wikipedia).

7 replies on “The Peace Rose – Rose de la paix”

Thanks for this nice history of this popular rose. I knew it had been bred by the Meillands at the end of the war and named to celebrate the peace, but not the details. We had it in the front garden of our house in Eastham — very appropriate because the original house on the site had been destroyed by a parachute mine in the war. I would guess that the owners at the time planted it because of its significance. It is a great pity it isn’t scented, then it would have it all.

Yes, William, it is very soft and delicate.
Stuart, did you see the little one at the bottom too? Not bad for an iPhone photo!
Susan, I agree that it is a pity it’s not scented.

I will always have a Peace Rose in my garden. One of my daughters middle name is Rose the other is Paix(Peace). Their Grandmother survived the Second World War in France as a child. The Rose means so much to us.

My name is Rosemary and I was not keen on roses until I had my own garden. Now I love them. I didn’t know the name Paix. Do you pronounce it the French way?

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