‘At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.’
The British Royal Family led the Nation at the very poignant Remembrance Sunday Service at the Cenotaph at Whitehall in the absence of Her Majesty The Queen. Buckingham Palace announced in the morning that due to a sprained back, the 95-years old Queen won’t be able to attend the service.
The Queen was advised to rest for a few weeks by her medical team last month that led her to cancel many events including COP26 reception and Festival of Remembrance last night. It is being reported that this back problem is not related to the other medical issues Her Majesty is facing. Buckingham Palace issued this statement,
The Queen, having sprained her back, has decided this morning with great regret that she will not be able to attend today’s Remembrance Sunday Service at the Cenotaph. Her Majesty is disappointed that she will miss the service.
As in previous years, a wreath will be laid on Her Majesty’s behalf by the Prince of Wales.
His Royal Highness, along with the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra will be present at the Cenotaph today as planned.
The absence of The Queen first time in 22 years, who herself is a WWII veteran, made the event more sombre. In her more than 7 decades-long reigns, Her Majesty has missed the service only 6 times. She was on overseas visits to Ghana in 1961, Brazil in 1968, Kenya in 1983 and South Africa in 1999. The Queen missed the services in 1959 and 1963 due to her pregnancy.
Taking place every year at the Cenotaph in Whitehall on the second Sunday of each November, the National Service of Remembrance provides the nation with a physical reminder of all those that have served and sacrificed, with British and Commonwealth soldiers, sailors, airmen and women represented.
Like every year, The service began with a two-minute silence in honour of fallen war heroes who gave their lives to protect our future and freedom. The silence began with the toll of the bells of Big Ben and ended with a single gun on Horse Guards Parade. For the first time in 69 years, there was no wreath for the Queen’s Consort – Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, who died at the age of 99 earlier this year in April. The rustling of leaves and the chirping of birds among a very emotional silence gave another moving touch to the morning.
On behalf of The Queen, the first wreath was laid by The Prince of Wales, followed by his own.
Queen Elizabeth II’s wreath.
Then The Duke of Cambridge laid his wreath followed by The Earl of Wessex, The Princess Royal and one on behalf of The Duke of Kent.
The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duchess of Cambridge, The Countess of Wessex watched the service from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office building. Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Britain’s Princess Alexandra took the Queen’s place on the balcony that is usually used by The Queen. Joining them in the other balconies were The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.
The tradition of laying the wreath was inaugurated by King George V in 1919. A cenotaph is an empty tomb or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere.
The Cenotaph, originally designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens was unveiled by King George V on 11 November 1920 at the same ceremony which saw the Unknown Warrior laid to rest. The original design was a wood-and-plaster structure. The current stone Cenotaph, identical to the original design, is a Grade II building and is undecorated save for a carved wreath on each end and the words “The Glorious Dead,” chosen by Lloyd George.
The ceremony ended with a rather loud rendition of the National Anthem that reflected on the morning mood that The Queen was greatly missed at the service and Nation is worried about the health of much-loved Her Majesty.
After the service, The Duke of Cambridge took the salute at the traditional Royal British Legion March Past of 10,000 Veterans.
A short video of the day
The coat looked like a combination of the label’s Military lace insert jacket and Military jacket. Crafted from wool, the tailored fit dress featured a contrast white collar, metallic button fastenings with the waistline, epaulettes.
The Duchess of Cambridge was wearing a black Lock & Co. Tiffany Drop-Brim hat.
She paired the outfit with Princess Diana’s Collingwood earrings.
The Duchess topped the outfit with The Royal British Legion’s Crystal Flower Brooch that is available for £19.99.
Since her marriage to Prince William in April 2011, The Duchess has attended the service every year.