Kate Middleton Did Not Actually Take Queen Elizabeth’s Place on Remembrance Day — Here’s Who Did

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Queen Elizabeth missed Remembrance Sunday services for the first time since 1999.
  • Kate Middleton appeared on the left balcony with the Duchess of Cornwall and the Countess of Wessex.
  • Fans speculated that the Duchess of Cambridge stood in for Her Majesty, but it was actually another senior royal.
Kate Middleton attends the annual Remembrance Sunday service at The Cenotaph on November 14, 2021 in London, England
The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Kate Middleton and other senior royals recently attended Remembrance Sunday services. However, Queen Elizabeth missed out for the first time since 1999 due to a sprained back. There’s been some speculation that it was Kate who stood on for Her Majesty at this year’s annual ceremony at the Cenotaph in London. But it was actually another senior royal.

Kate Middleton wore three poppies for Remembrance Sunday

Remembrance Sunday is an annual tradition in the UK — similar to Memorial Day in the United States. Every year, UK citizens wear poppies on Armistice Day as a sign of respect to those who died during World War I and other conflicts.

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According to Hello Magazine, Kate actually wore three poppies along with a crystal brooch. But, it’s not exactly clear why. There’s a theory, though, that royals wear multiple brooches in honor of family members killed in action.

Queen Elizabeth usually wears five poppies

Another theory is that Kate simply wore the poppy corsage instead of a single flower because it has better visibility during the service. But, chances are, there is some significance behind it.

Every year, Kate wears something different for Armistice Day. In 2019, she wore the Codebreakers Brooch instead of poppies to honor her grandmother Valerie Glassborow, Valerie’s twin sister Mary, and her great-aunt — who all served as codebreakers at Bletchley Park during World War II.

Queen Elizabeth usually displays five poppies during Remembrance Sunday. Buckingham Palace has never confirmed the reason for this. But, one common explanation is that they represent the five services from the war: the Army, the Navy, the Royal Air Force, the Civil Defence, and women.

Kate Middleton did not take Queen Elizabeth’s place

Kate’s display of multiple poppies was one reason some speculated she took Her Majesty’s place on Remembrance Sunday. The other was because she was photographed standing in between the Duchess of Cornwall and the Countess of Wessex.

However, the three ladies were positioned on the left balcony of the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development office building. Kate wasn’t exactly in the center of anything.

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The Sun reports that it was actually the 86-year-old Duke of Kent, Prince Edward — the queen’s first cousin — who stood in for the monarch on the central balcony with Princess Alexandra. That’s the location where Queen Elizabeth usually watches the ceremony.

Prince Charles laid a wreath on Queen Elizabeth’s behalf

The palace issued a statement just before the Remembrance Day service that let UK citizens know the queen wouldn’t be able to attend. She had to pull out at the last second because of her back sprain, and Her Majesty was “disappointed” that she had to miss the service.

“As in previous years, a wreath will be laid on Her Majesty’s behalf by The Prince of Wales, His Royal Highness, along with The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, The Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra will be present at the Cenotaph today as planned,” the statement read.

Kate Middleton stood in the order of precedence

The reason that Camilla, Kate, and Sophie stood on the left balcony the way they did is believed to be because of the order of precedence. Since the Duchess of Cornwall is the future consort, she was first. Followed by Kate and Sophie.

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As for Prince Charles, the future king was on hand for the ceremony without his mother on his 73rd birthday. While laying the wreath on behalf of the queen, he was dressed in his military uniform.