In a continuation of commemorations to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge along with Prince Harry today visited The Tower of London.
The visit to the Tower was to see the ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’, which is an installation of poppies in The Tower’s dry moat. The project, hosted by Historic Royal Palace and created by artist Paul Cummins, is to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War; by Armistice Day in November, there will be 888,246 poppies planted in the moat, one for every British and colonial fatality throughout The Great War.
Upon their arrival to the Tower of London, William, Kate and Harry were shown to the middle tower, by Constable of the Tower Lord Dannatt, where they went on to the roof to see the installation of poppies from above. What made the visit even more special was that the Royal trio were able to each plant a poppy of their own, adding to the swathes that have already been set down.
The last poppy is set to be installed on Armistice Day, November 11th 2014 and from then after the ceramic poppies will be sent out to those who have purchased them, available from today. The poppies will cost £25 each and profits from the sales will be split between six military charities, COBSEO, Combat Stress, Coming Home, Help for Heroes, Royal British Legion and SSAFA.
The poppy is the most common symbol of remembrance of the sacrifices of those not just in the First World War, but all conflicts since. The poppy was first recognised in the poem, In Flanders Fields, and has since become a memorial to those who pay the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry also got the chance to talk with Historic Royal Palaces staff, the charity that runs The Tower, as well as some of the volunteers who have been helping to plant the poppies for the last few weeks, and got to see the seeming starting point of the river of poppies, cascading down from a window on the north wall of The Tower.
The visit comes just a day after William, Kate and Harry attended a Commemoration Event at Saint Symphorien Military Cemetery in Mons.
Photo credits: © 2014 Chloe Howard