Did you know that Remembrance Day poppies actually originated in America?
When Moina Michael, a university professor who had put her career on hold to volunteer during the First World War, read John McCrae’s poem, In Flanders Fields (which contains the words, ‘We shall not sleep, though poppies grow, in Flanders fields...’), she was struck with the idea of using the flower as a symbolic reminder of those who had not returned from battle.
In November 1918, Michaels began selling silk poppies to raise funds, and eventually the Memorial Poppy was adopted by The American Legion, and later the Royal British Legion.
Today, more than 40 million red card poppies are bought in the run up to Remembrance Day on November 11, but in recent years, your poppy options have expanded to include more than just paper versions.
As seen on news readers, TV presenters and Hollywood stars, take your pick from our plethora of permanent poppies...
Legions of Flowers
The Royal British Legion (RBL) official Poppy Shop has a huge range of poppy jewellery, from sweet stud earrings to bronze cigar-smoking Churchill cufflinks that’ll set you back £695, with all profits going to help Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their families.
This year’s additions include crocheted designs that hark back to Moina Michael’s original silk flowers, plus a glitzy three-poppy brooch inspired by one worn by the Queen.
Poppy Collection Royal Bouquet Brooch, £29.99 (PoppyShop.org.uk)
Poppy Collection Crochet Brooch, £9.99 (PoppyShop.org.uk)
More bang for your Buckley
As seen on the likes of Angelina Jolie, the Duchess of Cambridge and Lady Gaga, Buckley London was the first brand to collaborate with the RBL and still creates the charity’s official jewellery selection.
Exclusive designs are also available from the brand’s website - such as this year’s red, white and blue version of the crystal-encrusted Royal Brooch - with all profits (around a third of the price) going to the charity.
Buckley London Official RBL British Bouquet Poppy Brooch, £25 (www.buckleylondon.com)
Buckley London Official RBL Stretch Poppy Bracelet, £15 (www.buckleylondon.com)
Marking the occasion
All profits from Marks & Spencer’s seven-piece poppy collection go to the RBL, which assists Forces personnel with finding jobs or housing when they return from conflict, as well as coping with the psychological effects of war.
As well as brooches and bracelets, the M&S range includes a pair of cufflinks and a lapel pin for the boys.
Poppy Charm Bangle, £9.50 (www.marksandspencer.com)
Poppy Lapel Pin, £9.50 (www.marksandspencer.com)
Not the usual
Notonthehighstreet.com is well known for it’s cool and original designs and when it comes to poppies, the website doesn’t disappoint.
Rosie Bull has created two hand-stitched flower pins (choose from plain felt or glitter-covered), with £1 from each going to the RBL.
Rosie Bull Handmade Red Felt Poppy Brooch, £14 (NotontheHighStreet.com)
Rosie Bull Handmade Red Glitter Poppy Brooch, £14 (NotontheHighStreet.com)
A number of sellers on handicraft site Etsy get involved with the Poppy Appeal each autumn, producing handmade poppies and contributing a percentage of profits to the RBL.
From felt embroidered flowers to shiny enamel brooches, Etsy is great if sparkly poppies just aren’t your cup of tea.
GracesFavours Felt Poppy Brooch, £8 (www.etsy.com)
MaisyPlum Enamel Poppy Brooch, £12.50 (www.etsy.com)
Russian jewellery designer Kleshna favours an art deco aesthetic with her poppies, from which 20% of sales go to the RBL.
Choose from a brooch, ring, bracelet or lapel pin, each embellished with Swarovski crystals.
Kleshna Poppy Art Deco Inspired Silver Plated Enamel and Crytal Pin, reduced to £9.99 from £12.99 (IdealWorld.tv)
Kleshna Poppy Art Deco Inspired Silver Plated Enamel and Crystal Brooch,reduced to £39.99 from £54.99 (IdealWorld.tv)