Kate Middleton pays tribute to her grandmother Valerie with special ‘Codebreakers‘ poppy

Kate Middleton pays tribute to her Bletchley Park grandmother with a special £29.99 ‘Codebreakers‘ poppy brooch as she attends wreath-laying service at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday

Kate Middleton paid tribute to her grandmother with a special ‘Codebreakers poppy‘ today as she attended the wreath-laying service at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.

The , 37, pinned the £29.99 poppy, which was released this year in honour of those who worked in signal intelligence, to her chic military inspired coat for the event. 

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. 

The Duchess of Cambridge stood on the balcony alongside the Queen to watch Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry lay wreaths to pay respects to its war dead today. 

Kate looked chic in military inspired coat and a fascinator hat as she joined other senior members of the royal family for the Remembrance day event. 

Completing the look with a touch of blusher and statement brows, she recycled the Queen‘s pearl earrings from Saturday night.

She pinned the elegant poppy brooch, which cost £29.99, to her jacket as a nod to her grandmother‘s work at Bletchley Park. 

The official poppy website revealed the design of the elegant brooch was ‘inspired by the rotors of the Enigma machines, from which Allied cryptologists successfully decrypted a vast number of enemy messages during the Second World War‘. 

It is called an ‘extraordinary tribute to the work of those in signal intelligence.‘ 

Today marked the first time that Kate has worn the special brooch.

Earlier this week, the royal donned the ‘Poppy Collection Women of The First World War Brooch‘, which costs £29.99 and was released last year. 

Kate has visited Bletchley Park on several occasions over the years as she retraced the footsteps of her paternal grandmother, Valerie Glassborow and her twin sister Mary.

Kate‘s grandmother and great aunt worked as duty officers, employed as Foreign Office Civilians in the Cover Management Y section in 1944.

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Kate‘s codebreaking family history at Bletchley Park

The Duchess of Cambridge‘s grandmother Valerie Glassborow and her twin sister Mary were among the codebreakers stationed at the top secret base at Bletchley Park during the Second World War. 

The crack team, which also included famed British mathematician Alan Turing, of researchers and cryptographers was tasked with intercepting and interpreting enemy communication and breaking the German enigma code. 

Enigmas, which resembled large typewriters, were used by German air, naval and army forces to safely send messages throughout the Second World War.

It used a complex series of rotors and lights to encrypt messages by swapping letters around via an ever-changing ‘enigma code‘. The code was eventually broken in 1941 by mathematicians at Bletchley – a feat that proved a crucial turning point in the war.  

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.  

However very few went on to pursue a career in intelligence. Indeed of the 9,000 people who worked at Bletchley Park during World War II, just 600 women went on to join the fledgling GCHQ or other branches of the secret services.

Among those to leave the service for a life of domesticity was Miss Glassborow, who 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.    

They are known to have been formally employed by the ‘Government Code and Cypher School’ at Bletchley and worked in Hut 16, now restored as Hut 6 and open to the public. 

On her visit earlier this year, Kate revealed her grandmother didn‘t feel comfortable talking about her experiences, saying: ‘My granny and her sister worked here. It’s very cool. When she was alive sadly she could never talk about it.

‘She was so sworn to secrecy that she never felt able to tell us.’

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