Remembrance Day fashion is not without its luxury labels like Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, and Diane von Furstenberg. The designers may change over the years, but there’s one crucial accessory that always stays the same among the royals every November: the Remembrance poppy.
On Sunday, November 8, the British royal family attended the National Service of Remembrance at The Cenotaph in London, England. This year’s services faced restrictions and cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, they came together to honor the fallen troops on Remembrance Sunday — keeping a safe social distance, of course.
Among them was Kate Middleton, who wore her usual all-black ensemble, contrasted with three red poppies. If you’re new to the history behind the flowers, they’re worn to honor fallen soldiers and serve as a symbol of hope and peace. The story behind them is that during the First World War, poppies grew from the countryside that was previously decimated due to warfare. This was articulated in the famous war poem by John McCrae titled, “In Flanders Fields.”
Poppies are always a Remembrance day must, but we’ve noticed that the royals tend to switch up the number of flowers they wear on their person. Curiously, Buckingham palace has never confirmed whether or not there’s a significance behind the number of poppies one wears.
In 2014, Middleton wore a single poppy to attend the annual Remembrance Sunday Services. In 2015, she added two more of the crimson-colored flowers to her lapel, and she donned the colorful trio of followers until 2019. Changing it up that year, she opted to wear the Codebreakers Brooch to honor her grandmother, Valerie Glassborow. The brooch was released in 2019 to honor those who worked in signal intelligence. Among them was Glassborow, who was a codebreaker at Bletchley Park during World War II.
In 2020, she reverted to wearing her three poppies, leaving us more curious than ever about the reason behind it. Some theories suggest each poppy stands for a different branch of the military. Others say that it’s just easier to see a large clump of flowers than a singular one. And a third theory speculates that she might wear the poppy trio to honor her great-grandmother’s three brothers who died during World War I.
According to The Royal British Legion, “There is no ‘correct’ way to wear a poppy.'” It’s a matter of personal choice whether someone chooses to wear a poppy and how they choose to wear it.
We don’t know about you, but we love a little royal mystery. Whatever the real reason may be for the poppies, one thing is for certain: they’re one of the best fashion accessories, with a symbolic message rich with history, respect, and hope. Until we get a definite reason from Middleton or Buckingham palace, we’ll continue to speculate in the years to come.