Duchess of Cambridge shows heart and craft by making poppies with veteran and cub scout

An emotional Duchess of Cambridge made decorative poppies with a 98-year-old Italy Star veteran, as they introduced young Scouts to the importance of Remembrance Sunday.

The Duchess was joined by Colonel David Blum, 98, and cub scout Emily Edge, 10, for an eight-and-a-half-minute interview in which they spoke about the importance of commemorating those lost to war.

In her role as joint president of the Scouts, the Duchess interviewed the pair about their experiences, and learned how the organisation contributed to the Second World War by helping with evacuations, harvests and firefighting in London.

Hearing about Col Blum’s training at Sandhurst, she joked it was “probably tougher then than it was when my husband did it”.

She appeared emotional as the veteran, speaking at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, told her his friends are now “mostly gone”, but he still “turns out” every Remembrance Sunday in their honour.

The trio turned their hand to homemade poppies under Emily’s instructions, while the Duchess interviewed them.

She asked Colonel Blum: “I’d love to hear what Remembrance means for you and why this time of year is so important.”

The Duchess of Cambridge with Emily Edge and Colonel David Blum at the Royal Hospital Chelsea

Credit: Kensington Palace/PA Wire

“I have to say, I lost a few friends,” he said. “One in particular I remember, he was killed a day or two before the war ended. That, I must say, affected me quite a bit. You wrote to their families, to say how sorry you were to have to tell them about this.”

Col Blum also showed the Duchess photographs, including one of his late wife.

“Sadly, there are fewer and fewer people around now who I’m able to share memories with,” he said. “It’s a fact that when you get to 98, as I am, they’ve mostly gone. Which is sad.

“But I turn out every Remembrance Day. I used to go up to Whitehall, but now I have to do a local parade.”

On the same question, schoolgirl Emily told her: “I think it’s important to remember all of the servicemen and women who risked or sacrificed their life so that we can live freely and happily today.”

Speaking of the past 100 years of poppy collection, the Duchess said: “It’s amazing to think Remembrance has been part of the fabric of society. It’s fantastic that an idea that was initiated then is still relevant today.”

She presented Emily with a Scouts’ Centenary Remembrance Badge. A new award spearheaded by The Duchess, it can be awarded to all those who take a meaningful part in Remembrance, including completing activities such as poppy making or taking part in a local service.

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