British Royals Remember the Fallen

  November 9, 2009 at 3:46 am by

Under the watchful eye of British veterans and their families, the British Royal family, led by Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, remembered Britain’s war dead during the annual Remembrance Day ceremony at the Centopah in Whitehall. At exactly 11 AM, two minutes of silence were observed in memory of those who died for Queen (as well as King) and Country. Following the Queen and the Duke who placed a memorial wreath of poppies were Prince William and Prince Harry, who represented the Prince of Wales, who is currently on an official visit to Canada. Additional wreaths were presented by the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, the Princess Royal and the Duke of Kent as well as prominent British politicians.

The first Remembrance Day was dedicated by King George V on November 7, 1919 to remember the sacrifices of those who served and died in World War I, but now Remembrance Day pays tribute to members of all conflicts from World War I to the present day conflict in Afghanistan. This year’s Remembrance Day will remembered as the first ceremony without any surviving World War I veterans present, as within the last year Henry Allingham, Harry Patch and Bill Stone, passed away.

Armistice Day is officially observed in the United Kingdom on November 11th as major hostilities in WWI were ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, with the signing of the Armistice.

This year, as in years past, poppies are placed in the Field of Remembrance, which is located at Westminster Abbey to remember those killed by war. During World War I, poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Europe. Traditionally from November 1st until Armistice Day, Britons wear small red poppies sold by the Royal British Legion. The funds raised from the sale of poppies support injured servicemen and women and their families as well as the families of those killed during active service.

To view pictures of the British Royal family, please visit Remembrance Day Services: 2003-2009.

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