When Kate Middleton joined members of the royal family on Remembrance Sunday, she did so wearing a special poppy in honor of her late grandmother.
Standing on the balcony overlooking the Cenotaph, side-by-side with Queen Elizabeth, Kate wore the metal poppy Codebreakers Brooch, likely to honor her paternal grandmother Valerie Glassborow who worked as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park during the war.
As custom dictates, Kate wore the brooch on the left side of her black military-inspired coat, worn that way to symbolize keeping those who have died close to your heart. The $39 brooch was released this year to remember those who worked in signal intelligence and is inscribed with the words “lest we forget” on the back.
“Inspired by the rotors of the Enigma machines, from which Allied cryptologists successfully decrypted a vast number of enemy messages during the Second World War, the Codebreakers brooch is an extraordinary tribute to those in signal intelligence,” reads the description on The Poppy Shop website. Each brooch comes with a certificate to remember one of the 13,000 men and women on the Bletchley Roll of Honour.
Glassborow, who died in 2006, worked at the top-secret home of the WWII codebreakers, with her twin sister Mary Glassborow from 1944-1945. Kate, who visited Bletchley Park in May, revealed in a book produced by GCHQ in 2016 that her grandmother and great-aunt had kept their involvement largely a secret. “They hardly ever talked about their wartime service, but we now know just how important the men and women of Bletchley Park were.”
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Also attending the annual Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph service on Whitehall was Prince William, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, marking the couples’ second joint outing since July. While Kate stood with the Queen and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall on one balcony, Meghan watched from another balcony alongside Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Sir Timothy Laurence, Princess Anne’s husband. Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, William and Harry all laid wreaths.