Today, The Duchess of Cambridge joined the members of the British Royal Family to honour the brave soldiers who laid their lives for the nation during World War.
Every year at Whitehall, British Monarch lays the wreath at Cenotaph to pay tribute to country’s war dead on Remembrance Day, a tradition inaugurated by King George V in 1919.
The year 2018 is a significant year in the history as it marks the 100 years of the signing of Armistice, end of World War I. At 11 am on the 11 November 1918, the First World War officially came to an end. The announcement was met with obvious joyous celebrations across the nation, and crowds of people started to converge on Buckingham Palace.
The First World War was one of the deadliest conflicts in history – claiming the lives of nine million combatants. Seven million civilians also died as a direct result of the war. On 4 August 1914, Britain entered and declared war on Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and their allies.
King George V recorded in his diary the events leading up to and directly after the declaration of war. He describes when war was declared a large crowd assembled outside Buckingham Palace which ‘was a never to be forgotten sight when May & I with David went on to the balcony, the cheering was terrific’.
Queen Mary recorded in her diary her thoughts on the Armistice day:
“The greatest day in the world’s history. The armistice was signed at 5. a.m. & fighting ceased at 11. U. Arthur came to breakfast, & at 11. we went on to the balcony to greet the large crowd which had formed outside. At 12.30. we went out again & the massed bands of the Guards played the National Anthem & patriotic songs, & the anthem of the Allies. Huge crowds & much enthusiasm…At 3.15 we drove to the City in the pouring rain & had a marvellous reception. The members of the family came to tea & then some WAACS, WRENS etc. came & sang patriotic songs. So nice of them. The Prime Minister came to see us at 7. U Arthur & Patsy came to dinner, afterwards we went on to the balcony, the band played popular songs, & we had another wonderful scene. A day full of emotion & thankfulness – tinged with regret at the many lives who have fallen in this ghastly war.”
Shown above is the flag Queen Mary waved on Armistice Day, during one or more of The Royal Family’s many balcony appearances.
On the 11 November, 1920 King George V unveiled the Cenotaph, the national memorial to the ‘Glorious Dead’ of the 1914-1918 war, and afterwards, Their Majesties attended the burial service for the ‘Unknown Warrior’ in Westminster Abbey. 2018’s remembrance Commemorations involved commemorating the centenary of Armistice. Learn more about World War I and Armistice Day through Royal Archives here.
100 years on, The Queen and The Royal Family today joined the nation in remembering all those who made the ultimate sacrifice. More than 10,000 people from across the country joined together on the Mall and made their way around St James’ Park for Remembrance Sunday as part of a ‘nation’s thank you’ to those who fought in the Great War.
On behalf of Her Majesty, Prince of Wales Charles laid the wreath at Cenotaph. An Equerry laid a wreath on behalf of The Duke of Edinburgh. Since the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952, today was the first time when The Duke of Edinburgh was not present at the Cenotaph with Her Majesty.
Absence of The Duke led to another strong message, The Queen was joined by Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall and Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge, both future Queen Consorts, at the balcony of Foreign Office.
Prince William and Prince Harry followed their father and laid wreaths at Cenotaph to honour the fallen soldiers followed by politicians and dignitaries while Queen watched from the balcony.
At the eleventh hour, the nation observed the two minutes of silence to remember the fallen. The silence represents the armistice was signed on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 to end World War I. The silence began with the chiming of Big Ben – despite the ongoing renovations to the clock tower.
The Last Post sounded by the Buglers of the Royal Marines and cannon fires by the King’s troop ended the national silence. About the silent observation, Prince Charles earlier said, “We owe that enormous debt of gratitude to those who gave literally everything for our tomorrow. We go on remembering the extraordinary courage and gallantry and endless devoted service of our Armed Forces. I think the time to have just that silence, it was a wonderful idea because we don’t have enough moments of silence to reflect. Above all, it’s a way of showing special honour and appreciation to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge, has attended the annual remembrance service since 2011. Today she wore a bespoke black coat dress from her go-to label, Alexander McQueen.
The dress is a combination of a label’s Military lace insert jacket (ided by @princesskate_GB on Twitter) and Military jacket (ided by @HeavenQRF on twitter). Crafted from wool, the tailored fit dress featured a contrast white collar, metallic button fastenings with the waistline, epaulettes.
The Duchess of Cambridge paired the coat dress with a bespoke Abney hat from Lock & Co Hatters.
Coming from Label’s Autumn-winter Collection, the £795.00 is currently available in burgundy and brown colours (shown here in burgundy).