On Tuesday, 5th August, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge along with Prince Harry will pay a visit to the Tower of London, to see the ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’, an installation of poppies in the Tower’s moat.
Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity that looks after unoccupied Royal palaces in the UK, are going to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War by placing 888,246 poppies in the dry moat over the summer to create a work of art. The poppies are made of ceramic, one for each British and Colonial soldier who was killed during the war.
The first poppy was planted on 17th July by a Yeoman Warder of the Tower of London, and over the next 3 months, 8,000 volunteers from across the country will continue to plant poppies, with the last one set to be installed on 11th November, Armistice Day.
Upon their arrival, William, along with his wife and brother, will be greeted by the Lord Dannatt, Constable of the Tower of London. They will also meet with the artists and designers who worked on the installation, before each planting a poppy in the moat to mark their visit.
From after the Royal visit, the ceramic poppies will be available for purchase for £25 on the Historic Royal Palaces website. Profits from the installation and sale of poppies will be shared equally among six charities: COBSEO, Combat Stress, Coming Home, Help for Heroes, Royal British Legion and SSAFA.
The poppy is a distinctive symbol of remembrance of the sacrifices made during the World Wars and other war efforts. Poppies were first associated with war when, in 1914, poppies were the only plants that began to grow on the barren battlefields of Northern France and Flanders, around the bodies of fallen soldiers. The significance of the red flower was first recognised in John McCrae’s poem, In Flanders Fields, and has since become a memorial to those who lay down their lives for their country.
Members of the Royal Family have been pictured wearing poppies in their lapels on many occasions, most noticeably on Remembrance Day.