Last night, Saturday 12th November, the Royal British Legion held its annual Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall. The event, which has been held since 1927, was very moving and culminated in the traditional release of thousands of scarlet poppy petals from the roof of the Albert Hall to represent all those who have died in combat and remember those who sadly paid the ultimate price.
The televised event included a performance by a choir whose members all have partners serving in Afghanistan – The Military Wives Choir from the Royal Marines Base Chivenor in north Devon sang Wherever you Are led by choirmaster Gareth Malone, Others performing at the Festival last night included X Factor star Joe McElderry, singer Katherine Jenkins and Sir Cliff Richard.
Sunday 13 November is Remembrance Sunday when Remembrance Services are held in order to remember the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who fought and died during World War I and II and many other conflicts. to protect the freedoms which today, we take for granted
This morning Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II led the way at a solemn service in Whitehall as thousands gathered across the nation to mark Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph in London. She was then followed by HRH Prince Philip, HRH Prince Charles and HRH Prince William, all of whom wore Military uniforms . the Duchess of Cornwall also attended her eyes downcast as she stood beside the Countess of Wessex on the Foreign and Commonwealth balcony. Prince Harry was missing because he is in America on the final stage of his Apache helicopter training. He instead attended his Army Air Corps squadron’s remembrance service parade in Arizona. Next to pay their respects were the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, the Princess Royal and the Duke of Kent.
They were then followed by The Prime Minister, Members of Parliamment, Politicians, and other senior state officials, civic dignitaries and Faith Leaders, plus Members of the Armed Services, the Royal Air Force, The Gurkhas, The Paratroop Regiment, The Royal Marines, Commandos, the Eighth Army, The Black Watch, The British Navy, The Royal Auxileries, The Burma Star Association, veterans from the Second World War, Servicemen and women in uniform, representatives from ex-service organisations, The Royal British Legion’s National President Lieutenant General Sir John Kiszely, also led Representatives from the Royal British Legion Past the Cenotaph and laid a wreath.
At 11:00 am there was a two-minute silence – which was signalled by gunfire from the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery in Horse Guards Parade. The Queen stood with her head bowed as Big Ben chimed, before another blast two minutes later marked the end of the silence and the Buglers of the Royal Marines sounded the moving tune of The Last Post.