Why the Queen and Kate Middleton wear multiple poppies on Remembrance Sunday

There's said to be significance behind it

Danielle Stacey

Poppies are worn as a mark of respect to those who died during the First World War and other conflicts. The royals are among the millions of people who wear poppies in the lead-up to Armistice Day, but the Queen noticeably always wears a splay of five pinned with a diamond brooch – but what's the significance behind it?

While Buckingham Palace has never confirmed the reason for the monarch's preference, it is thought that the Queen's five poppies represent each service in the war: the Army, the Navy, the RAF, the Civil Defence and women.

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The monarch isn't the only one to have worn multiple poppies. The Duchess of Cambridge also sported three poppies.

One theory is that the royals wear multiple brooches in honour of family members who have fought and died in wars. Kate's great-grandmother had three brothers who were killed in action during the First World War and the Duchess 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 simply because a corsage of poppies is much more visible than one.

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Camilla, the Queen and Kate at last year's service

For last year's Remembrance Sunday service, the Duchess of Cambridge opted to wear a particularly special brooch. Kate chose to don The Codebreakers Brooch in honour of her grandmother Valerie Glassborow, Valerie's twin sister Mary and her great-aunt, who all served as codebreakers at Bletchley Park during the Second World War.

This year's service at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, took place behind closed doors with social distancing in place amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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