It was a damp, chilly day in London for the annual Remembrance Sunday service.
Below, Major General James Bowder, Commanding Officer for the London military district, and his team as they await the King’s arrival.
Today’s service commemorates servicemen and women killed in all conflicts since the First World War, per the Royal British Legion.
The weather didn’t stop the crowds from turning out to honor those who died serving their country.
Thousands of well-wishers who had lined the streets to observe the ceremony watched as the Royal Marines Band made its way from the Palace of Westminster to the Cenotaph in the rain.
The band made several loops around the monument, with the Royal Marines infantry marching in tow.
At 10:58 a.m., the King, other members of the Royal Family, and equerries participating in the service leave the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development offices and move to the Cenotaph. Embed from Getty Images
At the same time, Royal Family members viewing the ceremony move to the balconies where they will watch the event. Below, the Queen and Princess of Wales.
The formation at the Cenotaph.
At Big Ben’s first stroke of eleven, a gun is fired at Horse Guards Parade, and a two-minute silence begins. Below, the Princess of Wales during the two-minute silence.
The silence ends with another gun firing, and the buglers of the Royal Marines play the Last Post. This is followed by the placing of wreaths at the foot of the Cenotaph. “Cenotaph” means “empty tomb.” The memorial was opened in 1920.
King George V unveils the Cenotaph before laying a wreath. He is joined by Prime Minister Lloyd George. Armistice Day, 1920.
© IWM (IWM 505) pic.twitter.com/6TFTzi5OeR
— Imperial War Museums (@I_W_M) November 11, 2023
The King lays the first wreath as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.
An equerry laid a wreath on behalf of the Queen. Below, His Majesty after he placed his wreath.
Embed from Getty Images
The Prince of Wales places the next wreath.
Followed by the Duke of Edinburgh.
Embed from Getty Images
And the Princess Royal.
An equerry placed a wreath for the Duke of Kent, who was unable to attend the service because of mobility issues. Below, the mass of wreaths after today’s service.
We return to The Telegraph story.
The event concluded with a short service, including prayers and hymns, before the Royal British Legion March Past commenced.
The national anthem.
God save the King.
— ChristinZ (@ChristinsQueens) November 12, 2023
More than 800 active service personnel took part in today’s service. Below, members of the Blues and Royals.
Ahead of the service, veterans gather at Horse Guards Parade for the March Past.
For some, it is a chance to renew friendships.
And make new memories.
After gathering, the veterans march past the Cenotaph.
Chelsea Pensioners in their distinctive red coats.
The Royal British Legion notes, “The number of people who can take part in the March Past is limited to 10,000 people due to capacity and the amount of time participants can reasonably be expected to stand.”
Members of the FANYs, the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry.
I believe these are Gurkha veterans.
More veterans gathered for today’s service.
A view as the veterans march.
Princess Anne took the salute from the veterans as they marched. She is seen below with Vice Admiral Johnson (right) and Secretary of State for Defence, The Rt. Hon. Grant Shapps, MP.
A brief video.
— Royal British Legion (@PoppyLegion) November 12, 2023
The Remembrance Sunday service isn’t limited to England. Below, the scene today in Edinburgh, Scotland.
This image is from a service at the Cenotaph at Belfast City Hall in Northern Ireland.
And a view of a service aboard the HMS Spey, a Royal Navy offshore patrol vessel.
Now for our look at styles worn by some of the royals in attendance at today’s service. The Queen was in a coatdress by Fiona Clare with a Philip Treacy hat. She also wore the Royal Lancers brooch.
The Duchess of Edinburgh brought back the Suzannah London coat featuring lilies of the valley that she wore to the late Queen’s funeral.
She accessorized with a Jane Taylor hat—more on her jewelry from The Court Jeweller.
Sophie wore pearl drop earrings from her collection for the occasion. She secured a trio of paper poppies with a poppy-shaped brooch featuring the badge of The Rifles. She has been the Royal Colonel of the 5th Battalion since 2007.
And a look at what Kate wore, starting with her Catherine Walker military-style coat that was first worn for Remembrance Sunday in 2019. As I wrote then, it features “a high point collar, front zipper, padded shoulders…and swagged trim, reminiscent of the braided aiguilette trim found on some uniforms.”
Today the Princess paired it with a familiar Philip Treacy hat; she also wore Philip Treacy in 2019.
This was the fourth time we have seen the design. It was first seen at Prince William’s passing out parade at Sandhurst, then on Remembrance Sunday in 2012 and 2017.
A look at the back of the Princess’s updo.
Embed from Getty Images
In a few photos, you can see the handbag the Princess carried.
Embed from Getty Images
The Princess carried a new handbag by Jennifer Chamandi, the LE 8 with Gold Buckle (£730, about $890 at today’s exchange rates) in black suede. The design is inspired by an envelope shape; it is made in Italy and has a magnetic closure and detachable strap.
The Princess has worn shoes by Jennifer Chamandi, and the brand notes that “10% of proceeds from the sale of Le 8, via our website, will go directly to Anna Freud, a UK-based world-leading mental health charity.” Thank you to House of Windsor for the ID and Middleton Maven for confirmation from the designer.
Today the Princess wore a pin of the Fleet Air Arm; you may recall she was appointed their Commodore-in-Chief by King Charles in August.
She also wore three poppies. The following is from a Remembrance post a few years back, but it still applies: “There is always speculation about the number of poppies worn by the Duchess and any significance attached to that number. Here are theories about that number as detailed in this Grazia story:
Some theories suggest each poppy stands for a different branch of the military. Others say that it’s just easier to see a large clump of flowers than a singular one. And a third theory speculates that she might wear the poppy trio to honor her great-grandmother’s three brothers who died during World War I.
She also had on a pair of earrings we’d not seen her wear previously.
The earrings are part of a set that belonged to the late Queen. The Princess was first seen wearing the brooch from the set in July 2017 at services in Belgium commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele.
Thank you to Couture and Royals on Twitter for noting the earrings’ tie to the brooch.
We learn more from The Court Jeweller’s coverage of today’s service.
The earrings appear to be part of the same suite that includes the late monarch’s Diamond and Pearl Leaf Brooch, notably worn by her in South Korea on her birthday in 1999. It’s possible that the earrings are either separate pieces that match the brooch, or two detachable leaves from the brooch itself.
The Court Jeweller’s post also has photos of the late Queen wearing the earrings a swell as the brooch. Below, you see just the base of the brooch affixing poppies to the Princess’s dress at the 2018 Festival of Remembrance.
The Princess also wore gloves today; the Data Duchess on Twitter suggests that they look like the pair worn at the Queen’s funeral.
The Royal Family posted a portion of Rudyard Kipling’s Recessional on social media ahead of today’s service.
The Royal Family Channel offers almost five minutes of coverage.
The Telegraph has more than 45 minutes of coverage.
This Sky News story runs about two minutes.