Volunteers to remove Tower poppies
Work will start today to pick the poppies which captured the imagination of Britain as it commemorated the centenary of the First World War.
More than five million people have travelled to the Tower of London to see Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red since the first ceramic flower was placed in the moat in July.
Thousands gathered at the landmark yesterday to see the last of the 888,246 poppies - representing every British and Commonwealth death in the Great War - put in place.
But like the lives they represent, they will be plucked, with thousands of volunteers removing them over the course of the next two weeks, according to Historic Royal Palaces (HRP), which commissioned the installation.
They have been sold off for £25 each to raise millions for six charities , the Confederation of Service Charities, Combat Stress, Coming Home, Help for Heroes, Royal British Legion and SSAFA (formerly the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association).
Each is expected to receive more than £1.2 million, HRP said.
Parts of the installation will go on show after a public campaign to keep them on display for longer.
The Weeping Willow, a cascade of poppies which spills from a window of the castle, and the Wave, which swirls out of the moat to form an arch over the entrance to the Tower, are to go on tour around the country until 2018, when they will be gifted to the Imperial War Museums in London and Manchester.
Wave will remain in place at the Tower until the end of November, according to HRP.