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Why did Princess Anne wear three poppies at the Festival of Remembrance?

The Princess Royal opted for an elegant ensemble

princess anne three poppies festival of remembrance
Kate Thomas
Lifestyle Managing Editor
12 November 2022
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Princess Anne sported three poppies on the lapel of her jacket when she joined her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence attended the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.

DISCOVER: Inside Princess Anne's love story with Timothy Laurence

The late Queen's only daughter looked smart in an elegant and sombre coat dress to attend the moving event, which is dedicated to all those from Britain and the Commonwealth who have served and sacrificed. The Princess Royal completed her look with her favourite string of pearls and matching earrings, and carried a patent leather clutch bag. It was her eye-catching choice of three poppies that caught the eye, however, worn as a mark of respect to those who died during the First World War and other conflicts.

WATCH: King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla attend Festival of Remembrance

The reason royal ladies - who also include Queen Consort Camilla and the Princess of Wales - wear multiple poppies has never been confirmed by the palace. One theory is that they wear multiple brooches in honour of family members who have fought and died in wars.

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Indeed, Princess Kate was also seen sporting three poppies on Saturday evening. Kate's great-grandmother had three brothers who were killed in action during the First World War, so the theory stands up.

Meanwhile, the late Queen usually displayed five poppies. While Buckingham Palace never confirmed the reason for the monarch's preference, it is thought that Her Majesty's five poppies represented each service in the war: the Army, the Navy, the RAF, the Civil Defence and women.

princess anne timothy lawrence festival of remembrance© Photo: Getty Images

Princess Anne, accompanied by Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, sported three poppies

Princess Anne's brother King Charles and his wife Queen Consort Camilla led the working royals at the Festival. The Prince and Princess of Wales, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra were also in attendance.

Through words, song, and storytelling, the Festival celebrates the qualities behind service which make it an essential part of life in the Armed Forces and civil society.

princess anne kate william british legion festival remembrance© Photo: Getty Images

Princess Kate also sported three poppies

The event is particularly close to the Princess Royal's heart as she has a strong connection to the British Armed Forces.

The Princess is patron of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity as well as being Commodore-in-Chief for Portsmouth. Although she hasn't actually served in the military like her brothers King Charles and Prince Andrew, she is an honorary Rear Admiral.

princess kate william charles camilla royal british legion© Photo: Getty Images

The Prince and Princess of Wales were joined by King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla

She carries out hundreds of engagements with her military patronages and affiliations every year and usually tops the hardest working royal list.

Following the Festival, all the royals will unite again at the annual Remembrance Day Service at The Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.

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It will be Charles' first as King and he is set to lay a new wreath, the design of which pays tribute to the wreath of His Majesty’s grandfather, King George VI, and Queen Elizabeth II.

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