Today Duchess of Cambridge joined the members of British Royal Family to honour the brave soldiers who laid their lives for 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 Vrecorded 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 in 1952, today was the first time when Duke of Edinburgh was not present at the Cenotaph with Her Majesty.
Absence of Duke led to another strong message, Queen was joined by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Catherine, 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 the 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.”
A small video of the day from Sky News.
Catherine, 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.
Tonight the Duke of Cambridge Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge Catherine joined Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and members of Royal Family for the annual Royal Festival of Remembrance at Royal Albert Hall in London.
Tonight was the 91st Festival of Remembrance since its birth in 1927. Sir Tom Jones, Sheridan Smith, Sir Bryn Terfel, Tom Fletcher and Danny Jones, Sheku Kanneh-Mason and the Kingdom Choir performed alongside the Central Band of the Royal Air Force and the Band of HM Royal Marines.
Every year since 1927, The Royal British Legion’s annual festival commemorates the British soldiers who laid their lives for nation during World War at Royal Albert Hall on the eve of the Remembrance Sunday – the second Sunday of November.
It includes a matinee open to members of the public and an evening event for members of the Legion, their families, officials and royals.
The very first ‘Festival of Remembrance’ was called In Memory 1914-1918 – A Cenotaph In Sound, in aid of The British Legion, Field Marshal Earl Haig’s Appeal for Ex-Service Men of all Ranks, and was held on 11 November 1923. A royal delegate including HRH The Prince of Wales was in attendance to hear John Foulds’ new composition, A World Requiem: A Cenotaph in Sound, performed by a chorus and orchestra.
In 1927 the concert was simply renamed the ‘Remembrance Festival’ and featured community songs including Pack up Your Troubles, Take Me Back to Dear Old Blighty, and Tipperary. The event ended with a service that has now become familiar, featuring The Last Post and ending in God Save the King/Queen.
Her Majesty who took the patronage of Royal British Legion in 1952, made her first visit to the Hall aged 26, following her accession to the throne, on 8 November 1952 for the British Legion Festival of Remembrance. Since then she has missed only 2 events.
It was not until 1971 that the British Legion were permitted to use the prefix ‘royal’, following a Royal Charter bestowed to the organisation on 29 May 1971. The festival was promptly renamed Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance, which it has proudly held every year since. Although the festival was originally only intended to honour those who died in the First World War, it now includes tributes to the war dead from more recent conflicts.
The Monarch and the members of the Royal Family watch the festival from the royal box of the hall. A very interesting fact about the royal box is that whenever the reigning monarch visits the Hall, the hammer cloth – a beautiful and very heavy velvet curtain bearing the Royal Coat of Arms and the initials of the reigning monarch of Great Britain and the Commonwealth, is hung from the balcony in the Royal Box and taken down immediately after the visit. The currently used hammer cloth was made by the Royal School of Needlework(RSN) in 1876- the date is embroidered on the lower left of its hem. Learn more about the hammer cloth here. You can find out more about the historical event at the official website of the Royal Albert Hall and about the Royal Albert Hall here.
The Poppy Appeal is the Royal British Legion’s biggest fundraising campaign held every year in November, the period of Remembrance. This year, join us as we mark the end of the WW1 centenary by saying Thank You to all who served, sacrificed and changed our world. Click here to support the appeal.
To mark Remembrance Week and Armistice, a very special installation has been done at the Royal Albert Hall. In 2016, fifty-one transparent seated military figures were installed in the Penshurst Church for Remembrance. This solemn tribute left an indelible impression on all who saw it. Two years later, building on the impact this action had, There But Not There has been installed at the hall. Learn more about the amazing installation here.
Queen Elizabeth II arriving at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall tonight.
The event began once Queen took her seat in the Royal Box with Prince Charles on her right and Prince William on her left. Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip did not attend the event as announced earlier.
Royal Family in the Royal Box of the Royal Albert Hall.
The State Trumpeters marked the beginning of the event.
The Festival of Remembrance opened with a World War I themed tri-service display featuring Royal British Legion standards representing branches from across the UK.
The event was hosted by Huw Edwards. In the opening statement, he remarked, “Tonight we will be remembering all those whose lives were touched by those four years of conflict”.
Tonight also marked the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice, the end of the First World War. The festival honoured the sacrifice made by hundreds of thousands of countless men and women of Britain and the Commonwealth. 2018 is also the 100th birthday of the Royal Air Force.
During the festival Duke of Cambridge Prince William paid tribute to his new patronage the new National Defence and Rehabilitation Centre and the fallen soldiers of WWI.
Sir Tom Jones performed ‘Coming In On a Wing and a Prayer’ with the Royal Air Force Squadronaires to pay tribute to aviation who played a vital role in WWI.
Tom Fletcher and Danny Jones along with the Central Band of the Royal Air Force performed a specially written piece to celebrate the 100th birthday of Royal Air Force.
On each seat in the Royal Albert Hall laid a photo of a fallen soldier.
Next, the Torch of Remembrance entered the Royal Albert Hall and a citation was read by the World War II veteran Colin Bell DFC: “They came because country called”.
After the Chelsea Pensioners aged between 66 and 88 received a guard of honour from scouts and girl guides.
The Band of HM Royal Marines performed marking the 100th anniversary of Zeebrugge.
At the end of the HM Royal Marines performance, Queen was seen applauding.
The audience in the hall stood to welcome bereaved families, led by Des and Maureen Feely, whose daughter Corporal Sarah Bryant was killed in Afghanistan in 2008 aged just 26.
Sheridan Smith captivated the audience with her amazing performance of ‘Are You Just Sleeping’ backed by a soft tune of the piano.
The audience of the hall gave a standing ovation to the parents and families of the fallen as they make their way across Royal Albert Hall.
A special moment as the Festival of Remembrance audience in Royal Albert Hall stood and hold up pictures of relatives who served in the war in a moment of thanks to the WW1 generation.
The moment was backed by the amazing cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and the Kingdom Choir.
A very sombre and emotional view of the scene as Michael Palin CBE, an English comedian, actor, writer and television presenter, paid tribute to poet Wilfred Owen who died less than a week before the armistice was signed.
The audience welcomed all the armed and defence forces in the Albert Hall as the forces paid tribute to the fallen soldiers who gave their lives while serving the nation.
The staff of Headley Court entered Royal Albert Hall with the Book of Remembrance to present the amazing contribution that the rehabilitation centre has made to the lives of the Armed Forces over the years.
Right Rev James Newcome led the prayers at the ceremony.
At the end of the ceremony, everyone observed 2 minutes silence while the poppies fell silently on the audience honouring the brave men and women of the nation.
Duchess of Cambridge has attended this event every year since 2015. Tonight Duchess made a stunning and sombre appearance.
She was weaning black Roland Mouret asymmetric neck dressthanks to Perth fashion on twitter for quick id. Crafted from black wool and stretch silk, the midi dress featured an asymmetric neckline and elbow-length flared cuff sleeves. The dress is already sold out.
The midi dress that falls in the Duchess’ regular style spectrum was a perfect choice for the event.
A closure look at the dress neckline and fabric.
Catherine paired the dress with Jimmy Choo Romy Velvet Black Suede Pointy Toe Pumps. The classic pointy toe pump has been slightly updated with a softer point and a new stiletto heel. Leather lined with a leather sole, they are finished with a black suede upper.
Duchess finished her look with a new pair of pearl earrings. Initially, it was thought that she was wearing The Qatar Pearl and Diamond Demi-Parure earrings on loan from Her Majesty. But a closer look shows that they are different than the Queen’s earrings shown below.
Tomorrow Duchess will attend annual Remembrance Day Service at The Canetoph and a special Armistice Day service at Westminster Abbey marking its 100 years with Royal Family.
On Thursday night, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge William and Catherine attended the Tusk Trust Conservation Awards at Banqueting Hall, a magnificent survivor of the lost royal Palace of Whitehall, in London.
Patronage of Prince William since December 2005, for almost thirty years, Tusk Trust has supported forward-thinking and successful conservation intervention in Africa. From the plains of the Serengeti to the rainforests of the Congo Basin, Tusk has been working towards a future in which people and wildlife can both thrive across the African continent.
Tusk Trust has pioneered successful conservation action in Africa by protecting wildlife, empowering communities and advancing the frontline in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade for almost three decades.
Prince William’s love for wildlife conservation born during his teenage years when he visited Africa with his father Prince Charles after the untimely demise of his mother Lady Diana. Africa holds a special place in his heart as it gives him a place away from public and media glare to mourn his loss. William chose an African Country Kenya to propose his now-wife Catherine in November 2010.
He once said, “ I feel very protective of wildlife, which is why I get emotional about it. You want to stand up for what is vulnerable and needs protecting. Elephants, rhinos, and many other animals that are persecuted don’t have a voice“.
Poaching, habitat loss and human-wildlife conflict are having a devastating impact on Africa’s wildlife. We believe local people and organisations are best positioned to address these threats, but are often under-resourced and lack the recognition they deserve. By partnering with leading and emerging conservationists across Africa, Tusk secures donor funding to invest in the best grassroots conservation initiatives – helping to increase their profile and maximise their impact.
The Tusk Conservation Awards, in partnership with Investec Asset Management, gives a chance to celebrate extraordinary people, whose work and lives might otherwise go unnoticed outside their fields. Their work with wildlife and communities in Africa safeguards the future for us all.
About the awards that were first held in 2013, Prince William said, “These awards which mean a great deal to me personally, play a huge part in our mission to preserve Africa’s precious wildlife for its people. It is vital that we recognise the dedication of these unsung heroes and the bravery of rangers risking their lives, day and night, on conservation’s frontline. We all owe them a huge debt of gratitude.”
She first attended the inaugural award ceremony in September 2013, that coincidentally was her first official event after giving birth to Prince George in July 2013. A look at Duchess’s dazzling appearance at the awards in 2013 wearing a shimmering Jenny Packham gown.
William and Catherine met with the award nominees/winners, Tusk supporters and sponsors. The host of the night was Kate Silverton. Prince William presented three awards – Tusk Award for Conservation, Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award and The Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa.
The Tusk Award for Conservation winner is Vincent Opyene. The award is given to an emerging leader in conservation in recognition of their contribution to date. Vincent has single-handedly changed how Uganda addresses the illegal wildlife trade, risking his life on a daily basis to combat wildlife trafficking and to bring criminals to justice.
Julius Obwona received The Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award from The Duke of Cambridge for his dedication and bravery working as a ranger to protect Africa’s increasingly threatened wildlife. His leadership in Murchison Falls, Uganda has led to the prosecution of 720 suspects involved in wildlife-related crimes, and the number of elephants killed by poachers has dropped from three a day to three a month.
Pete Morkel was presented with The Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa – a lifetime achievement award which commends outstanding dedication and contribution to conservation. Through his successful work in capturing a range of wildlife including rhino, elephant and giraffe, a much higher level of knowledge on these species has been acquired throughout Africa, ultimately helping with their management, protection and wider conservation.
Speaking at the award ceremony the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William said,
Catherine and I are delighted to be here again at the Tusk Conservation Awards. It is always a pleasure to help celebrate the exceptional achievements of the award winners and finalists. I would like to acknowledge the support of all tonight’s sponsors, particularly Investec Asset Management and Land Rover, for continuing to make this evening possible. Thank you for your generosity.
As ever, I am inspired and humbled by the sheer dedication and commitment that our 2018 nominees have demonstrated. It never ceases to amaze me how they achieve so much against the odds and with so few resources.
But tonight is also time for sober reflection. It was deeply moving to read the names of the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for conservation. Their deaths are a terrible and tragic loss.
Amongst the names listed were two leading investigators, Esmond Bradley Martin and Wayne Lotter. Each of them had worked tirelessly in the battle against the illegal wildlife trade. Their deaths, like all of the rangers, represent a huge loss to the conservation world.
Esmond was the first person to highlight the scale of the international consumer demand for ivory and rhino horn back in the 1980s. And Wayne’s dedication to tackling poaching meant he became a target for the traffickers he was trying to expose. We should all be inspired by the courage that Wayne’s partner Krissie is showing as she continues this important work.
As with many of the rangers who lost their lives this year, both Esmond and Wayne would surely have been worthy recipients of a Tusk award. Tonight we remember their bravery and selfless commitment. A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit Namibia and Tanzania to see some programmes that Tusk supports for myself.
In Namibia it was fantastic to see desert rhino roaming freely in the beautiful, Mars-like landscape of the Kunene Region. Even if Charlie Mayhew did make me get up at 5am and take a 5-hour round trip to see a rhino for only 30 seconds!
I met many Namibian conservationists who are doing inspiring work in Kunene to increase the benefits for local communities. It was music to my ears to hear the women and elders of the People’s Park Initiative describe wildlife as an important economic asset that they had to protect for generations to come.
And in Tanzania, I saw how Mkomazi, a once decimated game reserve, has been successfully rehabilitated into a National Park. Mkomazi’s vibrant outreach programme is teaching school children from neighbouring communities to respect and protect the magnificent wildlife and habitats on their doorstep.
This sort of work on the front-line remains crucial if we are to succeed in protecting the world’s iconic and endangered species.It was great to see so many countries come together to reaffirm their commitments at the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference, here in London, last month. But for the tide to really turn on the trade, we require consistent, global political leadership and action. Recent announcements that weaken commitments on rhino horn and tiger parts are deeply concerning. We must fiercely protect the fragile gains we have made.
These gains are even more important in the face of last week’s Living Planet Report. This was a stark reminder that in just 40 years we have destroyed 60% of the world’s mammals, fish, birds and reptile species. Our own survival is reliant on our ability to reverse the terrifying decline in the world’s biodiversity. Modern human society as we know it depends on natural resources to survive and thrive. As the report says – ‘nature is not just a nice to have’.
Two years ago at this event, Sir David Attenborough warned that man is losing his own connection with nature. The IPCC’s recent report was the loudest warning bell yet from the scientific community that we must act now. The clock is ticking towards a tipping point when the impact of what we are doing will become dangerously irreversible.
Whether we are living in an urban or rural environment, nature matters to us all. We have a responsibility and an obligation to the next generation to drastically reduce the extent to which we plunder the planet’s natural resources.
I am convinced that we have it in our power to reverse this trend. As the late Paul Allen, a great conservation philanthropist, said: “As long as we work together – with urgency and determination – there is no limit to what we can achieve.”
Let me finish by congratulating the winners and finalists again for their incredible work and achievements. We can only hope to shine a spotlight on a few each year through these awards. But in doing so, we rightly continue to uncover some of the unsung heroes of conservation in Africa.
Duchess’ appearance at the Awards was greatly anticipated. As it was a black-tie event, the royal watchers were keenly predicting what Duchess will wear and many of them predicted correctly.
Catherine brought back one of the most stunning and gorgeous piece from her wardrobe – Jenny Packham Aspen gown. The gown that she first wore in 2012 at the ‘Our Greatest Team Rises’ Olympic gala, can be considered one of Catherine’s most iconic looks.
The royal watchers on social media were thrilled to see Duchess wearing the dazzling gown once again. The gown is a customised version of the label’s ‘Aspen’ wedding gown crafted from silk chiffon. It features an intricate lace back, a crystal embellished waistline and lacy cap sleeves.
When Duchess wore the gown first time in 2012, Jenny Packham described the gown as, “The style combines an emerald lace bodice embellished with Swarovski crystals and a pleated skirt, ribbon waisted with a crystal and flower embellishment and matching bespoke clutch bag“.
A look at the show-stopping design of the gown.
Duchess once again chose the same shoes and clutch to give us a Déjà vu of 2012. She wore Jimmy Choo platform Vamp Sandals.
And carried matching Jenny Packham clutch that she carried back in 2012.
This time Duchess topped off her look with Queen’s Diamond Chandelier Earrings that she has on loan from Queen since 2011.
“Women played a huge role in the First World War. They served as nurses in the field hospitals, and here at home. They worked in factories, making munitions. They worked on the land. And they were recognised afterwards with the right to vote. 100 years on, The Royal British Legion has created this special brooch dedicated to the memory of the courageous women who served and lost their lives as a direct result of the First World War. The brooch is beautifully packaged in a floral design box. Each brooch comes with a certificate commemorating the life of a woman who lost her life as a direct result of the First World War. These names are recognised by CWGC as women serving in the auxiliary units during the First World War. Designed exclusively for the Centenary year,this stunning brooch adds a vintage feel to the classic two petal enamel poppy. Plated with a gold-tone and hand finished with brilliant baguette crystals, this charming brooch is the perfect way to support The Royal British Legion.”
If not for the different hairstyle, many of us would not be able to differentiate between both appearances. It’s amazing to see Catherine in the 6 yrs old dress after three pregnancies.
Speaking about the pregnancies, tonight, we also got a special royal treat. Daily Express printed a very cute picture of Catherine and Prince Louis with Prince Charles of Wales. The picture was taken by Chris Jackson in the gardens of Charles’ London residence Clarence House in September this year.
In the picture, we can see a chubby cheek Louis giggling when his dotting Grandpa Wales (as George and Charlotte call him) is holding his both hands. The picture was released to coincide with the BBCOne documentary to mark the Charles’ 70th birthday.
Inspired by Alfred Eisenstaedt’s 1945 photograph of a sailor kissing a stranger in Times Square for label’s Spring ’18 collection, capturing the essence of that iconic moment, this vintage-inspired dressis cut from polka-dot silk crepe de chine that falls to a pleated midi skirt. Highlight its retro feel with yellow sandals. The £1,225 dress is not available any more. But the Spanish label Zara has a fabulous replikate.
This week we will see Duchess on Saturday and Sunday at Remembrance Day Events:
November 10 – Duchess of Cambridge will join Royal Family for Remembrance Day Festival at Royal Albert Hall
November 11 – Annual Remeberance Day Service at The Canetoph
November 11 – Special Armitice Day service at Westminster Abbey marking its 100 years.
Next Week Duke and Duchess will visit South Yorkshire on November 14, where they will open a new Technology Centre and visit Center Point UK hostel. On the same day, in the evening, Queen will host a lavish dinner in the honour of Prince Charles’ 70th birthday at Buckingham Palace.