Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Kate Middleton learns about her family on poignant visit to Imperial War Museum – live updates


kate middleton museum© Photo: Rex
Ainhoa Barcelona
Content Managing Editor
October 31, 2018
Share this:
kate middleton war museum© Photo: PA

The Duchess of Cambridge has paid a very poignant visit to the Imperial War Museum in London, where she learnt about her ancestors who fought and died in the First World War. Kate, who was visiting ahead of Armistice Day, looked lovely in a blue dress and proudly pinned a red poppy brooch to her chest.

Shortly after arriving, Kate was shown the beautiful poppy installation at the museum entrance. Once inside, she viewed letters relating to the three brothers of her great-grandmother. They are stored in the museum's Documents Archive and provide a fascinating insight into life in the trenches.

Kate's great-great-grandfather Francis Martineau Lupton had five children. His three sons Francis, Maurice and Lionel were all killed in action while serving during the First World War. The eldest, Major Francis, served with the 8th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment and was killed by a bomb in 1917 aged 31. Lionel, the youngest, was killed in action only a year earlier aged 24. Maurice also spent time in the trenches, occasionally meeting with his younger brother, Lionel. Maurice was the first family casualty of the war and was killed by a sniper in 1915 aged 28.

kate middleton jenny packham© Photo: Rex

Kate looked typically elegant for her museum outing, recycling a royal blue Jenny Packham dress that she previously wore on a tour of Canada. Her poppy is available to buy for £29.99 from thepoppyshop.org.uk.

kate middleton outing museum© Photo: Rex

She had her hair styled in loose waves with a middle parting. The Duchess relied on her trusty nude court shoes and accessorised with a matching nude clutch.

kate middleton war letters© Photo: Twitter

The first part of her visit involved a short tour of the museum's First World War Galleries. Kate, 36, was shown elements of the galleries that relate to the experience of her relatives. The Duchess met historians, curators and descendants of a First World War soldier.

A letter from Maurice to his father, dated 24 May 1915, read: "Lionel was here the day before yesterday for a bit, & I have seen him two or three times in the last few days." 

kate letter war museum© Photo: Twitter

The other items include this field service postcard from Lionel dated 16 July 1916, where he notes that "I am quite well." Sadly, Lionel was killed in action on the same day, aged just 24.

noel middleton© Photo: Twitter

This telegram from Noel Middleton to the family informs that Francis' body had been found. It read: "Bad News Francis Body Found Near Taylor's Killed Instantaneously Bomb Saw Norman Yesterday And Grave In Churchyard."

letter buckingham palace war museum

Kate was also shown around the Explore History room, which is a drop-in research and work space at IWM London. She was shown several documents that relate to her relatives' experiences of life on the Front, including a letter of condolence from the Keeper of the Privy Purse at Buckingham Palace.

Part of the letter from King George V read: "The King realises that this is the third beloved son you have given to your country's cause, and His Majesty trusts that you may be granted strength and comfort in the further sorrow which you have been called upon to bear."

kate great grandmother© Photo: Twitter

Kate was shown her great-grandmother Olive's registration card. Olive and her younger sister Anne were both VAD nurses with the British Red Cross during the war.

More Royalty

See more