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Why Meghan Markle was the only royal not to wear a brooch at the RAF centenary service

The royal family celebrated 100 years of the Royal Air Force

meghan markle brooch raf
Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
10 July 2018
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Members of the British royal family put on a united front as they attended a special service at Westminster Abbey to mark 100 years of the Royal Air Force, on Tuesday. But royal watchers have noticed that new addition, Meghan Markle, was the only member of the family to not wear a brooch. Dressed in a stunning black number by Dior which featured a bateau neckline, the Duchess of Sussex looked absolutely divine as she joined Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for the service.

meghan markle no brooch raf

Meghan Markle seen without a brooch at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday

Although all eyes were on newlywed Meghan, eagled-eye fans were quick to notice the large diamond Dacre brooch which Kate wore on her pastel blue Alexander McQueen coatdress. The prestigious brooch, which is adorned with several jewels, is known to be the highest award any female cadet can achieve annually since 1982. Even though Kate is not a cadet, a spokesperson from Buckingham Palace has said that the cadets presented the brooch to the Duchess as a gift following her appointment as Honorary Air Commandant of the organisation. The mother-of-three was last seen wearing the statement piece in 2016, when the Air Cadets marked their 75th anniversary.

MORE: All the times Duchess Kate and other royals have borrowed jewellery from the Queen

royals wearing raf brooch

The royals all hold an honorary position with RAF bases or squadrons

When girls joined the cadets in 1982, each year one male member of the cadets would be awarded with the sword and a female with the sash and brooch. In 2015, the tradition changed, allowing all women to be recognised in the same way as their male peers - with a sword. Lucinda Conder was the last cadet to be awarded the brooch in 2015. At the time, she told the Telegraph: "It is quite an honour (to wear the brooch). I was the last cadet to wear it, and now she is wearing it. It is the best accessory."

GALLERY: All the best photos of the royals at the RAF centenary service

Meanwhile, the Queen opted to wear the Jardine Star Brooch, which features eight diamond encrusted rays separated by a single diamond in the middle, surrounded by a cluster of eight smaller stones. She has previously worn the brooch at other engagements, including her visit to RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland in 2014. The Duchess of Cornwall, who is Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Halton, also wore her RAF brooch, while Princess Anne, an Honorary Air Commodore of Royal Air Force Brize Norto, wore a gold version of the RAF badge. All members of the family that wore an RAF brooch did so because they hold an honorary position with RAF bases or squadrons, so Meghan will have to wait a little longer until she gets hers! It is expected that the former Suits actress will receive an honour since her husband served in army for ten years.

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