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First World War Centenary: Tower of London poppy installation commemorates the lives lost


Ceramic poppies were this morning planted by members of the Royal Family at The Tower of London as part of an art installation designed to commemorate the lives of those who died in the First World War.

Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry each planted a poppy to officially unveil Paul Cummins’ Blood Swept Lands And Seas of Red, before walking with their heads bowed through the stunning sea of red. Prince William also climbed the Middle Tower to admire the artwork from on high.

Each of the 120,000 flowers which have now been planted in the grounds of the Tower represents the loss of a single British or colonial life during one of the bloodiest and darkest periods of modern history.

The location chosen by Mr Cummins is symbolic, as the moat, which has since dried up, had been used to swear in more than 1,600 soldiers who had enlisted within a month of the deceleration of war.

The flowers in the art installation are pictured spilling out from the windows of the Tower, over its walls, and into the grounds, and has been praised by many commentators for its beauty.

But over 760,000 poppies are yet to be planted, and will be added to the installation gradually over the next three months before the final flower is laid on 11 November - Armistice Day.

As part of a fundraising initiative, each flower will be available to buy for £25, with all proceeds being distributed to military charities.