The Queen and the Duke visit the Tower of London

HM The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh attend the First World War poppy installation at the Tower of London

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Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visited the Tower of London’s ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ poppy installation and attended a service in the iconic fortress’s newly refurbished Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula.

Her Majesty and The Duke of Edinburgh were greeted by General the Lord Dannatt, Constable of the Tower of London, and Colonel Richard Harrold, Governor of the Tower of London, who surrendered their ceremonial Keys of Office to The Queen. A wreath of poppies was then presented to The Queen by Yeoman Warder Jim Duncan before she saw the installation and met members of the project team, including Deputy Governor of the Tower of London, Colonel John Brown, ceramic artist, Paul Cummins, and stage designer, Tom Piper.

The royal party then went on to the chapel and attended a service of thanksgiving to celebrate the restoration and conservation of the chapel led by the Chaplain Reverend Canon Roger Hall with an address by The Bishop of London, The Rt Revd & Rt Hon Richard Chartres. The Queen then viewed the restoration and conservation work undertaken in the chapel’s crypt.

Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that cares for the Tower of London and has been marking the centenary anniversary of the First World War by installing over 800,000 ceramic poppies into the dry moat to create a major art installation. The first poppy was planted on 17 July 2014 by one of the Tower of London’s Yeoman Warders and the evolving installation by ceramic artist Paul Cummins was officially unveiled on 5 August 2014, 100 years since the first full day of Britain’s involvement in the First World War.

In total, 888,246 ceramic poppies will be planted in the moat, one for each British and Colonial fatality during the First World War. A team of over 16,000 volunteers from across the UK have helped to install the poppies so far, with the last one being planted on Armistice Day, 11 November 2014.

Each poppy is available to buy for £25 with 10 per cent from each poppy, plus all net proceeds due to be shared equally amongst six service charities. The charities chosen are Confederation of Service Charities (COBSEO), Combat Stress, Coming Home, Help for Heroes, Royal British Legion and SSAFA (formerly the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association).

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