There are few things more moving than Remembrance Sunday, a day on which citizens “commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts.”
As head of the armed forces, Queen Elizabeth II leads tributes every year on the second Sunday in November, laying a wreath of poppies at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London. A two-minute moment of silence is observed for the fallen, a reminder of how dedicated the Commonwealth is to their military. The end of the silence, according to the British Monarchy’s site, is marked by a performance of “The Last Post.”
Prince Harry, according to the Daily Mail, traveled to Afghanistan to observe the day with his fellow soldiers.
The Duchess of Cambridge stood alongside the Duchess of Cornwall and the Countess of Wessex on a balcony overlooking the ceremony. Catherine wore a double breasted wool coat by Alexander McQueen ($2,785) and a Jane Corbett hat, the same one seen at Remembrance Day 2011.
On Thursday, Scotland Yard was able to intercept a plan to assassinate the Queen, arresting four men in connection with an Islamic terrorist plot. Never one to let fear of personal safety get in the way of the job at hand, Her Majesty went on with the day, knowing how important it was to pay her respects alongside her people.
Earlier in the week, the royal family – including Prince Harry, Prince William, the Duke of Edinburgh and others – took part in remembrance festivities.
The Tower of London is perhaps the most significant part of this year, with countless poppies covering the moat in honor of those lost in battle. Poppies have been used as a symbol of remembrance since 1921, inspired by the poem, In Flanders Fields.