All worn with pride, but such dif­fer­ent royal pop­pies

The Mail on Sunday - - NEWS - By Nick Craven and Char­lotte Wace

THEIR pop­pies came in all shapes and sizes, strik­ingly dis­played on som­bre dark evening wear, but the mes­sage was the same: They Shall Not Be For­got­ten.

When the Queen joined other Roy­als to pay trib­ute to The Fallen at last night’s Fes­ti­val of Re­mem­brance at the Royal Al­bert Hall, Her Majesty’s clus­ter of no fewer than five pop­pies fas­tened in a brooch was cer­tainly the big­gest.

One the­ory is that she wears one poppy for each branch of the ser­vices: Navy, Army and Air Force, plus one each to rep­re­sent Civil De­fence and women.

What­ever the rea­son, Her Majesty’s trib­ute was cer­tainly dif­fi­cult to miss.

The Duchess of Cam­bridge, mean­while, lim­ited her­self to three pa­per pop­pies fas­tened in place by her brooch, wear­ing her pop­pies on her right breast in­stead of the tra­di­tional left, to be close to the heart. The rea­son was prob­a­bly be­cause her asym­met­ric dress was re­veal­ingly cut on the left-hand side, with no space for a poppy.

The Duchess of Sus­sex made do with a far more mod­est poppy enamel pin and Camilla, Duchess of Corn­wall, chose a £29.99 Women of the First World War Brooch, is­sued by the Royal Bri­tish Le­gion, which has proved so pop­u­lar that it has sold out this year.

So­phie, Count­ess of Wes­sex’s brooch didn’t ap­pear to be in this year’s poppy range, sug­gest­ing that she may have re­cy­cled one she had al­ready.

The male mem­bers of the Royal Fam­ily, in­clud­ing Princes Wil­liam and Harry, con­tented them­selves with one sim­ple pa­per poppy each adorn­ing their mil­i­tary medals.

The Royal Fam­ily stood as thou­sands of au­di­ence mem­bers at­tend­ing the event held aloft pho­to­graphs of fam­ily mem­bers who took part in the First World War.

Theresa May and her hus­band Philip held aloft pho­to­graphs of two of her an­ces­tors – one of them Pri­vate Hu­bert Brasier Grant, of the East Sur­rey Reg­i­ment, who died at the Bat­tle of Pass­chen­daele in 1917, aged 19.

Mrs May at­tended af­ter re­turn- ing from Eu­rope, where she lay wreaths and re­cited a poem in both France and Bel­gium.

Sir Tom Jones led the mu­si­cal per­for­mances, singing Com­ing In On A Wing And A Prayer while ac­com­pa­nied by the RAF Squadron­aires, a big band orches­tra.

Sheri­dan Smith was backed softly by a piano as she sang Are You Just Sleep­ing?, while Tom Fletcher from McFly per­formed Born To Fly with Danny Jones, which he wrote to cel­e­brate 100 years of the Royal Air Force.

Sheku Kan­neh-Ma­son, the cel­list who de­lighted mil­lions at Harry and Meghan’s wed­ding ear­lier this year, played a mod­ern ver­sion of Leonard Co­hen’s Hal­lelu­jah to the hushed crowd, and there was a con­tri­bu­tion too from the King­dom Choir, which also per­formed to ac­claim at the wed­ding in Wind­sor in May.

The au­di­ence clapped along as mem­bers of the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force marched in and gath­ered in for­ma­tion at the cen­tre of the room.

Rows of pop­pies adorned the room and were pro­jected on to the floor. And at the end of the evening, the Last Post sounded be­fore pop­pies be­gan to fall from the ceil­ing, form­ing a poignant car­pet of red.

The event was or­gan­ised by Armed Forces char­ity the Royal Bri­tish Le­gion as a ‘thank you to all who served, sac­ri­ficed and changed our world’ .

To­day, the Prince of Wales will once again l ead the na­tion in hon­our­ing the coun­try’s war dead dur­ing the na­tional ser­vice of re­mem­brance at the Ceno­taph, while the Queen ob­serves from the nearby For­eign and Com­mon­wealth Of­fice.

And in a his­toric act of rec­on­cilia-

tion, Ger­man Pres­i­dent Frank-Wal­ter Stein­meier will also lay a wreath at the Ceno­taph, along with Prince Charles and Theresa May.

A ser­vice in West­min­ster Abbey will also be held, along­side events all over the coun­try, to hon­our those who fought and fell in the Great War.

BOLD STATE­MENT: Kate went for a strik­ing group of three pop­pies while Camilla and So­phie chose sin­gle flow­ers

MARKS OF RE­SPECT: Meghan went for a sub­tle enamel pin, whereas the Queen, top, has a cor­sage of five more tra­di­tional red pop­pies

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