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Meghan Markle pays homage to Prince Harry's military career with poignant accessory

The poppy is the Royal British Legion's official symbol, so why did the Duchess of Sussex wear it in the US?

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrives to attend the 91st Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey in central London on November 7, 2019.
Georgia Brown
Georgia BrownLifestyle Writer
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The Duchess of Sussex stepped into the sunshine on Tuesday as she joined a friend for a lunch and shopping date in Montecito, California. 

In photographs published by the MailOnline, Meghan, 42, epitomised effortless dressing as she slipped into her signature sartorial combo of high-rise shorts and ballet flats. Donning a pair of figure-flattering canvas shorts from La Ligne, the former Suits actress added a chic canvas tote, Céline sunglasses and a Givenchy leather belt to complete her designer daywear. 

The Duchess may have stepped away from royal life, and indeed her former life with Prince Harry in the UK, but that didn't stop her from paying a touching tribute to the British armed forces by wearing a delicate poppy brooch in an expression of Remembrance.

WATCH: Princess Kate and Queen Camilla sing hymns during Remembrance service

The poppy's origin as a popular symbol of remembrance lies in the landscapes of the First World War. Steeped in the tradition of Armistice Day, a poppy brooch is worn by many people (including the royal family) in the UK and other countries throughout the month of November in honour of the service and sacrifice of the armed forces, veterans and their families.

Kate Middleton wearing black military jacket and pearl earrings for Remembrance© Getty
Princess Kate wore three poppies during the Remembrance Sunday Service on 12 November

While it wouldn't be unusual for Meghan to have worn the symbol if she was still a working member of the royal family, her choice to wear it in the US is an interesting one. 

Americans don’t typically wear poppies on US Veterans Day, which falls on 11 November. Instead, they wear the symbolic red flower on Memorial Day - the last Monday in May - to commemorate the sacrifice of men and women who have given their lives fighting for their country.

Meghan wore a poppy brooch to attend the 2018 Remembrance Sunday memorial in London© Chris Jackson
Meghan wore a poppy brooch to attend the 2018 Remembrance Sunday memorial in London

Meghan's choice to wear the poignant accessory also shows support for her husband, Prince Harry, who served in the army for 10 years undertaking two tours of Afghanistan.

harry army© Getty
Prince Harry went on two tours of Afghanistan during his military career

Prince Harry wrote candidly about his time in the army in the pages of his memoir, Spare, even going so far as to say that the army gave him purpose.

When he and Meghan decided to step away from royal life in 2020, the Duke was stripped of his honorary military titles of Captain General Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant, RAF Honington and Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command to Queen Elizabeth II.

While many members of the royal family who have served in the armed forces don their military uniform for major royal events, including the Trooping the Colour, Remembrance Sunday and state funerals, Prince Harry was also stripped of his privilege to wear this.

Prince Harry is no longer allowed to wear his military uniform to official royal events© Getty
Prince Harry is no longer allowed to wear his military uniform to official royal events

The move meant that the Duke of Sussex wore a Dior suit to the funeral of his late grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, while the likes of Prince William, the Princess Royal and his father King Charles were in military uniform.

Want to keep up to date with the latest royal news? Listen to HELLO!'s latest episode of A Right Royal Podcast, where we discuss what Prince William's title will be when he becomes King...

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