Why The Royal Family Is Wearing Poppies On Their Lapels

The Prince and Princess of Wales recently stepped out for an appearance at a community center, and some royal fans noticed the couple wore a matching accessory. What are the red flower pins Prince William and Kate Middleton were sporting and what do they signify?

The Prince And Princess’ Visit To Community Center

William and Middleton visited Scarborough’s The Street, a community center that hosts local businesses so they can grow and develop. The royal couple were there to launch funding for mental health services for young people. 

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Middleton wore a monochromatic beige look, matching her dress, coat, purse, and shoes. The prince wore navy pants, a matching blazer, and a burgundy sweater. Both royals had bright red poppies pinned to their lapels. 

Why The UK Adopted The Poppy As A Symbol Of Remembrance

These flower pins aren’t just decorative. In the UK, poppies signify support for the British Armed Forces, as well as remembrance of those who have died in service to their country. British people started wearing the poppy after WWI. 

The battles that took place in Europe decimated the landscape, leaving just mud and dirt. There were no flowers or plants of any kind—except for the bright red poppies. Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was inspired by these resilient flowers and wrote a poem, “In Flanders Field.”

His poem inspired an American academic named Moira Michael to campaign for the poppy to be adopted as an international symbol of the fallen soldiers of WWI. The poppies were sold all over the UK and still are today. 

The first year the poppy pins were sold, over £106,000 were raised for veterans needing homes or jobs. Today, millions of poppies are created by disabled ex-servicemen and distributed to UK citizens each year. 

The Royal Family Traditionally Wear Poppies

The poppy pins are typically seen in the days leading up to Remembrance Day, a memorial day observed by the British Commonwealth on November 11. When members of the royal family make public appearances before Remembrance Day, they can usually be seen wearing poppies on their lapels. 

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The Prince and Princess of Wales will be honoring the armed forces members who died in the line of duty in the days leading up to the official memorial day by adding the scarlet poppy to their outfits. 

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