UK & World News

  • 5 August 2014, 14:24

Royals Plant Poppies At WWI Installation

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have joined Prince Harry at an art installation symbolising those killed during World War One.

The Royals will each plant a ceramic poppy at the Tower of London exhibition, entitled Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red, at the attraction's dry moat.

It is the site where more than 1,600 men swore an oath to the crown in August 1914 after enlisting for the war.

The three climbed the Middle Tower to view the entire artwork, before they walked through the field of poppies and planted their tributes to the war dead alongside General Lord Dannatt, Constable of the Tower of London.

The first ceramic poppy was planted in July and the final one will be installed in the Historic Royal Palaces artwork on Armistice Day, on November 11.

A total of 888,246 poppies - one for each British and Colonial death during the war - will be installed by a team of volunteers.

Profits from the artwork will be divided between six service charities including Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion.

Each poppy will go on sale online priced at 25 each after the installation ends.

It comes after commemorative events were held in Belgium, Scotland and Westminster Abbey in London to mark 100 years since the start of the Great War.

An estimated 37 million people were killed or injured in World War One, which lasted from 1914 until 1918.

Paul Cummins, who created the artwork, said he got the idea from a "living will" he found in Derbyshire in 2012 which he used to give the installation its name.

He said: "Each one represents someone who died in the First World War from Britain and the Dominions.

"I'm literally trying to represent people because a number is a number, but if you see it all like this it is a visual idea of how many people were there."

Tom Piper, a stage designer who helped to make the project, added: "We also wanted to make sure it didn't become regimented mass rows of poppies - there is an organic quality to it - so taking the line of the 'seas of red', a feeling of waves of movement so that some of the poppies are higher than others so you can see them gently moving in the breeze."