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Why the Queen wears five poppies for Remembrance Sunday

Queen’s Christmas at Sandringham discussed by Russell Myers

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Queen Elizabeth II always pays her respect on Remembrance Sunday in person, dressing in black for her visit to the Cenotaph. The Remembrance Sunday service is attended by royals, politicians, members of the Armed Forces and the public. Most people will wear a poppy for the event, with the flower pins sold every year to raise money for the Royal British Legion.

People wearing poppies for Remembrance Day links back to days on the Western Front during World War 1, when the landscape was significantly damaged by warfare.

Despite the destruction, poppies would grow over the fields in their thousands, even though the conditions were too harsh for most other flowers to grow.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae lost a friend in Ypres during the conflict, but he was touched by the growth of these poppies amid such a devastating backdrop.

He famously wrote the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’, and today the poppy remains a symbol of respect for those who lost their lives.

Why does the Queen wear five poppies?

The Royal British Legion has had royal patronage since 1921, and the Queen is now the charity’s patron.

Every year the Queen attends the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph, and instead of wearing one poppy, the Queen wears five.

Buckingham Palace has never confirmed why the Queen wears five poppies for the occasion every year.

But it is thought that each of the Queen’s five poppies represents a branch of the war services.

These branches include the Army, Navy, RAF, Civil Defence and women.

As the nation’s monarch, the Queen is known to be incredibly passionate about remembering those who served in the war.

Her father, King George VI, reigned over the nation during World War 2.

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And the Queen’s grandfather, King George V, was the nation’s monarch during World War 1.

The Queen herself also worked as a driver and a mechanic in the Women’s Auxiliary Territory Service during World War 2.

And her beloved late husband, Prince Philip, also had a military background, having served in the Royal Navy during World War 2.

How do other royals mark Remembrance Sunday?

Other members of the Royal Family are known to have their own poppy traditions for Remembrance Sunday.

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge has previously worn three poppies, but she wore a special poppy brooch in 2019 which paid tribute to her grandmother.

Valerie Glassborrow, Kate’s paternal grandmother, worked as a code-breaker at Bletchley Park during World War 2.

The special brooch the Duchess wore was released to honour those who worked in signal intelligence.

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