The ‘Codebreakers’ poppy has special meaning for Kate because her paternal grandmother Valerie Glassborow was among those who worked to decipher the secrets of the German Enigma machine at Bletchley Park during the war.
It was the first time the royal has worn the elegant brooch, which was released earlier this year to honour the 13,000 men and women on the Bletchley Park Roll of Honour. The badge has ‘lest we forget’ inscribed in the back.
Then a young, unmarried woman, Valerie Glassborow worked in Hut 16 on the estate, which is no longer standing. Many of her colleagues were ‘ordinary’ middle-class women like herself, whose work, kept secret for almost half a century, helped change the course of the war.
Miss Glassborow married Peter Francis Middleton in 1946 in the village of Adel, Yorkshire. The couple went on to have four sons, Michael, Richard, Simon and Nicholas in quick succession. Michael, the eldest, is the father of the Duchess of Cambridge and is known to have been close to his mother. Miss Glassborow died in 2006, without ever speaking publicly of her wartime service.
Photo courtesy Samir Hussein / WireImage, The Middleton Family, and SSPL via Getty Images