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Royal News

Queen Camilla marks centenary of Poppy Factory

Queen Camilla marked the centennial of The Poppy Factory at a Clarence House reception, telling those gathered that “It’s so important nowadays to look after these veterans because sometimes they don’t get as much attention as they need.”

The Poppy Factory was founded in 1922 and migrated to its current form in 1924, to help the wounded, old and sick veterans living in the aftermath of the First World War. The charity set up operations in Richmond upon Thames in 1924 as well, and current workers were among those invited to the Clarence House reception.

The Poppy Factory’s partners, and those who are aided by the charity, were also in attendance. The Queen, who has been patron of The Poppy Factory since 2013, gave a speech in which she said, “I can’t believe that I’ve been part of it for 10 years.

“I’m very proud to be part of the Poppy Factory because I’ve seen the wonderful work that you do.”

Aside from supporting veterans with employment and other services, The Poppy Factory oversees the creation of poppies wreaths for Remembrance events through the Royal British Legion.

The charity brought over a selection of poppies and wreaths made throughout the years to show The Queen how the poppy quickly became a symbol of remembrance and honouring those who served.

According to Buckingham Palace, the exhibition included silk poppies from the 1930s; a cardboard poppy from the 1940s; poppies from the 1950s and 1960s made of cloth and felt; poppies made from plastic and paper that have been produced since the 1980s; and the newest paper poppy that was launched last year by the Royal British Legion.

Queen Camilla was gifted a wreath of poppies by The Poppy Factory’s president, Surgeon Rear Admiral Lionel Jarvis, as a thank you, and later used his sword—much in the same way as her late mother-in-law—to cut the cake.

The Queen was overheard joking, “A beautifully polished sword. Not sure which way I’m going to attack this, dig in there, it’s quite soft.”

Thursday’s engagement is just the latest in a packed diary for Queen Camilla, who has stepped up to take a central role within the Royal Family as King Charles undergoes cancer treatments and the Princess of Wales recovers from abdominal surgery.

The King and Queen returned to London mid-week for the King to undergo another round of treatment, while Queen Camilla carried out a series of engagements.

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About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.