Why Kate Middleton always wears three poppies for Remembrance Sunday – from honouring her family to showcasing her royal role
- Mother-of-three, 41, wore three poppies at the Remembrance Service today
- Read More: Princess of Wales rewears Philip Treacy hat she first debuted at husband’s Passing Out Parade to Remembrance Sunday Service
The royal family, like many people in the UK, wear poppies to commemorate Remembrance Day.
The Princess of Wales was spotted with three pinned to her lapel as she stood on a balcony at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office during the service at the Cenotaph, in Whitehall, London, today.
While there is no official rule or requirement regarding the number of poppies to be worn, it is not uncommon to see members of the royal household donning multiple poppies.
Some individuals choose to wear multiple poppies to represent different aspects of remembrance.
FEMAIL breaks down all the possible reasons that Kate might wear three poppies…
The Princess of Wales was spotted with three pinned to her lapel as she stood on a balcony at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office during the service at the Cenotaph, in Whitehall, London , today
To symbolise each service in the war
Although the Palace has never confirmed the reason Kate wears three poppies, it is thought they may symbolise the army, navy, and air force.
The late Queen traditionally wore five poppies – which was thought to represent each service in the war (the army, navy, and air force and the Civil Defence and women).
Honour family members who died
Another theory as to why Kate wears multiple brooches is to honour family members who have fought and died in wars.
The Princess of Wales’ great-grandmother had three brothers who were killed in action during the First World War.
The Princess viewed letters from her ancestors during a poignant visit to the Imperial War Museum in 2018.
However, the reason for Kate wearing multiple poppies has never been confirmed by the palace.
Another theory is that they wear multiple brooches to honour family members who have fought and died in wars (Kate during the National Service Of Remembrance at The Cenotaph in 2022)
The most senior dignitary
While some royal experts have suggested her choice to wear multiple poppies could be a way to symbolise that she is the most senior dignitary at the ceremonies.
In 2014, Middleton wore a single poppy to attend the annual Remembrance Sunday Services.
In 2015, she added two more of the crimson-colored flowers to her lapel, and she donned the colorful trio of followers until 2019.
Changing it up that year, she opted to wear the Codebreakers Brooch to honor her grandmother, Valerie Glassborow, while in 2020, she reverted to wearing her three poppies.
Generations affected by war
While others have suggested donning three poppies could represent the past, present, and future generations affected by war.
As for why the Royals wear their poppies on their left-hand side, it’s commonly thought to be because this positions them closer to the heart.
While others have suggested donning three poppies could represent the past, present, and future generations affected by war (Kate attending the National Service of Remembrance at The Cenotaph in 2021)
As Kate stands on the balcony paying her respects to those who died in conflicts, she might just want to make sure the poppies are seen (pictured at National Service of Remembrance 2020)
Changing it up in 2019, she opted to wear the Codebreakers Brooch to honor her grandmother, Valerie Glassborow
Another theory is simply because a corsage of poppies is much more visible than one.
As Kate stands on the balcony paying her respects to those who died in conflicts, she might just want to make sure the poppies are seen.
This theory may have some weight to it as Kate isn’t the only Senior Royal who wears more than one.
Similarly, Queen Camilla is often seen wearing two or three poppies, and the late Queen Elizabeth previously wore five.
What do the poppies represent?
Remembrance Day takes place on November 11 each year to honor the members of the armed forces who lost their lives in World War I and subsequent conflicts.
The tradition of wearing poppies originated from the famous war poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.
The poem describes how poppies grew amidst the graves of soldiers in Flanders, a region in Belgium heavily impacted by the war.
The red poppy became a symbol of remembrance and a way to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
According to The Royal British Legion, ‘There is no ‘correct’ way to wear a poppy.”
It’s a matter of personal choice whether someone chooses to wear a poppy and how they choose to wear it.
The tradition of donning these flowers on began in 1921, when the Royal British, was founded, according to the organisations website.
They sold out straight away and raised more than £106,000 for those whose lives had been affected by the war.
In response, Major George Howson set up the Poppy Factory in 1922, to employ disabled ex-servicemen.
The factory is still around today and its warehouse in Aylesford produces millions of poppies each year.
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