11 November 2018

Remembrance Sunday

The Queen and members of the Royal Family attended the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph, London. The service honors those that have died in armed conflicts.

As she did last year, The Queen watched the Cenotaph ceremony from one of the Foreign Office balconies while The Prince of Wales laid  her wreath. This year she broke with her tradition of wearing one of her bow brooches to hold her cluster of poppies. She wore The Queen Mother's Shell Brooch instead. The jewelry choices, frivolous as they may seem to discuss given the occasion, can often add additional insight. That is certainly the case with The Queen's brooch choice today.

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We've seen The Queen wear pieces from her mother's collection multiple times for war remembrance events. In the year of the armistice centenary, choosing one of The Queen Mother's favorites seems an additional nod to the four Bowes-Lyon brothers that fought in the First World War, one of whom was killed in action.

This particular brooch offers yet more significance of its own; it was designed by Lord Courtauld-Thomson (its longer name is the Courtauld Thomson Scallop-shell Brooch), who was Chief Commissioner for the British Red Cross during the First World War. The jewel was made in 1919. (As always, full stories on jewel history can be found in the links below.)

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

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The Queen was joined on her balcony The Duchess of Cornwall and The Duchess of Cambridge. The Duchess of Cornwall repeated her jewelry from last year's service; her badge belonged to The Queen Mother and is of special significance to Camilla because her late father served with the 12th Lancers.

9/12th Lancers Badge

The Duchess of Cambridge wore her Poppy Collection Women of the First World War Brooch and repeated pearl earrings by Cassandra Goad.

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The Duchess of Sussex joined Frau Elke B├╝denbender, wife of the German president, on another balcony. "Federal German President His Excellency Frank-Walter Steinmeier laid a wreath on behalf of the German people. It is the first time since the Cenotaph was inaugurated in 1920 that a representative of Germany took part in the National Service of Remembrance and his attendance symbolises the peace and friendship that exists between our two countries today," according to the Ministry of Defence.

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The Countess of Wessex was on another balcony with Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence. She wore a Rifles badge, because she is Royal Colonel of the 5th Battalion. The Countess of Wessex Blog identified her ceramic poppy brooch; it was made by and given to her by the visually impaired students at St. Vincent's School. The students make these poppy brooches as a campaign to leave "a lasting legacy for those who lost their sight in the Great War." The Countess regularly supports charities for the blind and visually impaired. It's a personal cause for her since her daughter, Lady Louise, was born with an eye condition.

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The Prince of Wales led things on the ground, laying The Queen's wreath on her behalf.

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The Duke of Cambridge, The Duke of Sussex, The Duke of York, The Earl of Wessex, The Princess Royal, The Duke of Kent, and Prince Michael of Kent all laid wreaths as well. The Duke of Edinburgh's (who was not present at the ceremony today) was laid by his equerry, a Captain in the Grenadier Guards.