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Saturday 30 August 2014

Queen faces poppy wreath poser

Published 07/11/2012 | 15:43

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The Queen watches an employee at The Poppy Factory making the red emblem of the British Legion's annual appeal
The Queen makes her own poppy during a visit to The Poppy Factory

The Queen has said she did not know why her Remembrance Day wreath took 93 poppies each year.

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Brian Edwards, 45, who makes the royals' poppy wreaths, put the question to the Queen when she visited The Poppy Factory in Richmond, Surrey.

She said she did not know, and added: "I've never counted."

The Queen told Mr Edwards she would try to find out and let him know.

Normally, wreaths can take any number of poppies, but the royal wreaths use the same amount each year. The Prince of Wales's wreath always takes 156, and it is only the Queen's which is made up of 93.

Mr Edwards, who has worked at the factory for 25 years, said: "The only solution we came up with together was that her father, the late king, was born in 1893 so it could be that."

During her visit, the Queen met workers at the factory, and had a chance to make her own poppy. She did not wear one for her visit but took her finished poppy with her, observing: "And it stayed together."

The Queen met employee Frances West, 59, who was born on the Queen's coronation in 1953, as well as her husband, who works with her.

Sara Jones, president of The Poppy Factory, said: "All the staff she spoke to were very appreciative of the fact she spoke to everyone. Several of them met her before when she visited here 20 years ago so that was nice."

The Queen was greeted by a crowd of locals and received flowers and cards from several children. One-year-old Nora Wake handed her a bouquet of red roses and geraniums with a hand-written message and picture of a poppy. The Queen, who was already holding a poppy bouquet, said: "Thank you, it matches very well."

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