15 May 2019

An Heirloom for Kate at Bletchley Park

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The Duchess of Cambridge headed to Bletchley Park on Tuesday, and she brought a lovely family heirloom along with her.




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Bletchley Park is famous for its role in Britain's code-breaking efforts during World War II. Kate's visit was timed to highlight a special D-Day exhibition in the newly restored Teleprinter Building.


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But visits to Bletchley are always especially meaningful for Kate. Her paternal grandmother, Valerie Glassborow Middleton, was one of the women who worked at Bletchley during the war. She and her twin sister, Mary, are memorialized with commemorative bricks on site. Kate was shown the memorials during Wednesday's visit.


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For the engagement, Kate wore a pair of familiar earrings: Annoushka pearl drops suspended from diamond-studded Kiki McDonough hoops.


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Much more significant, however, was the golden brooch she pinned to her polka dot dress. The piece is designed to resemble one of the rotors from the famous Enigma machine. It belonged to Kate's grandmother, Valerie.


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Kate was able to use one of the original Enigma code-breaking machines during Wednesday's visit as well, neatly bringing together the present-day engagement, Kate's jewelry, and her family history.