Posh poppy pandemonium

4 November 2013

Once upon a time, the only people who wore ‘posh poppies’ were TV presenters, who would turn up to read the news wearing one the size of a dinner plate.


Now, though, fashion has taken the symbol of remembrance and turned it into a blingy, inane, Swarowski studded bumhole of a thing – and what’s worse, hardly any of the proceeds from ‘poppy jewellery’ are going to the Royal British Legion.

Favoured by Kate Middleton and the like, the popular crystal encrusted poppies are made by a variety of manufacturers, some of whom give just 10% to the British Legion. Kate gets her posh poppy from the jewellers Buckley, who donate all proceeds to the Poppy Appeal. But Chamilia.com, who make poppy bracelets which retail at £45, gives only £4.50 to the British Legion and Klesha - who manufacture a poppy brooch for an unbelievable £54.99 - only manages to donate £8.23. Even Marks and Spencer, who sells enameled poppy pins for a fiver – donate just 30% to the charity.

So if you’re buying a poppy, just get one of the old fashioned paper and plastic ones. They might not be very jazzy, but at least you know the money is going to right place.

Also, when it’s all over, you can take them apart and use the stalk to pick your teeth. And it's that kind of resourcefulness that made this country great. *salutes*

TOPICS:   Consumer Advice


  • Grammar N.
    I agree that it sounds like people making money on the back of a charity, but if you buy one of the bracelets it's still a bigger a donation than if you buy one of the old fashioned ones that sell for £1.
  • Tim
    Just what I was thinking Grammar Nazi - they're getting a bigger donation than they would with the standard poppy, and don't have any of the associated costs of producing the things. There would be nothing to stop the RBL producing their own "blingy" poppies if they wanted a bigger cut - indeed, they've already started to expand. Just this weekend I bought an official RBL pin badge and my other half had somme weird hair pin thing - both from the same box as the shitty paper poppies, in return for a donation into the normal charity box.
  • Jerry
    In my area, even TRAINS wear poppies !!!
  • captain n.
    @GM Except they will buy one bling poppy and wear it every year. So good at grammar yet sucks at foresight and maths.
  • captain n.
    @GN that should be
  • Grammar N.
    @captain nemo - you know this how? Who's to say there won't be a new design next year for people to buy? Even if it's a new design every 2 or 3 years it's still a bigger donation.
  • andyofyarm
    Always bear in mind the old codgers hanging around the cenotaph are the ones that didn't get killed.
  • Dick
    They should print the year on regular poppies. That way, it would be harder to reuse them.
  • captain n.
    @GN Who's to say there will be new designs? Will people who have already purchased a bling poppy buy the new style? Its all guesswork with your theories. More importantly buying a simple paper poppy, or one of the pins mentioned by Tim, made by the poppy factory in Richmond means you will not be supporting manufacturers who will be making money on the back remembrance day.
  • Poppy
    Or buy the same thing from the British Legion website, maybe http://www.poppyshop.org.uk/the-buckley-crystal-poppy-brooch-medium.html
  • fibbingarchie
    If you're the kind of person who'll spend £50 on a bling poppy, you're probably not going to hold on to it for too long (so last year dahling!)
  • Vidarr
    Its absolutely sickening that any company is allowed to profit on something like the poppy that commemorates those who have died for us through out the conflicts in the world as time has past, Each year I dread to think how much I actually give and how many poppies I amass by the time the 11th has passed. BUY FROM THE RBL NOT THE COMPANIES WHO PROFIT FROM THEM PEOPLE !!!
  • LD
    The Legion should sue them for copyright infringement. And shame them in public. If Apple can chance their arm .....
  • Anastasia
    I always buy the paper and plastic poppy, but I admit it would be nice to have something that didn't stab me and would stay put. I usually end up not wearing mine or losing it. I'd be happy to pay more to the RBL for a proper pin-back poppy.
  • salmonmax
    The legion does/did produce their own 'bling' poppy - the one mentioned above, made by Buckley. There was a big uproar a couple of years ago because people were buying loads and selling them at a markup on ebay. In this case LD, the Legion can't/won't sue them for copyright because they're using the legion's logo and charity number - i.e. the legion has given them their approval. This, as Grammer Nazi and Tim said, is because they don't have any overheads and get a bigger donation than their own paper poppies.
  • Bogbrush
    If you get a normal poppy there is nothing to stop you donating far more than the standard £1
  • Sarahs c.
    Buy a bling poppy from RBL and the donation to the charity is actually less than some of the other companies mentioned on here, go figure! Check out the donation amount before you buy and then decide if wearing a bling poppy for two or three years before your mrs a)loses it b) breaks it or c) decides red isn't really her colour and then shell out on the next new poppy replacement!!

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