Remembrance 2016

In the week of Remembrance, The Queen and Members of the Royal Family join the nation in commemorating and honouring the men and women who have sacrificed themselves in Service to our country.


On the second Sunday of each November, The Queen leads the whole nation in remembering those who have died in world wars and other conflicts. In a ceremony at the Cenotaph, the focal point of the nation's homage, Members of the Royal Family unite with others in thousands of similar ceremonies across the UK and worldwide in holding two minutes' of silence at 11am. 

In the run up to Remembrance Day members of the Royal Family attend a series of engagements to honour the fallen.

This year, The Royal British Legion is asking the nation to Rethink Remembrance by recognising the sacrifices made not just by the Armed Forces of the past, but by today’s generation too.

For many people, Remembrance is associated with the fallen of the First and Second World Wars. While we will always remember them, the Legion wants to raise awareness of a new generation of veterans and Service personnel that need our support.

Thursday 10th November

On Thursday 10th November, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry attended events to honour the memories of millions of people who lost their lives during the First and Second World War, and the conflicts since.

Field of Remembrance

The Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Harry officially opened the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey.

Over 60,000 crosses are planted each year by the British Royal Legion, each carrying a personal message to someone who lost his or her life in the Service of our country.

Their Royal Highnesses each lay a Cross of Remembrance in front of two wooden crosses from the Graves of Unknown British Soldiers from the First and Second World Wars before a soldier from the band of the Coldstream Guards played The ‘Last Post'.

The Duke and Prince Harry then spent time talking to veterans from past and more recent conflicts, including a veteran that has visited the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey every year for 66 years. Harrison, aged 8, proudly showed Prince Harry his uncle's medal. Lt. Aaron Lewis was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2008.

The first Field of Remembrance was held in the grounds of Westminster Abbey in November 1928. That year only two Remembrance Tribute Crosses were planted. But it began a tradition that took root and has grown and grown over the decades. The Duke of Edinburgh, then Lt. Philip Mountbatten, first visited the Field of Remembrance with Princess Elizabeth in 1947. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother also attended most years until her death in 2002.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Living Memory project

The Duke of Cambridge visited Willesden New Cemetery to see the work of Living Memory, a Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) initiative that aims to encourage communities to discover their local CWGC war graves and memorials, explore the stories behind the names of those who gave their lives during war and remember their sacrifice

The CWGC cares for war graves and memorials at 12,000 locations in the UK, which together commemorate more than 300,000 men and women who died during the two world wars as a result of their injuries, accident or sickness.

His Royal Highness meet local schoolchildren and community groups who are discovering more about the 260 war graves at Willesden New Cemetery through the Living Memory project, and heard about the ways in which they are remembering the fallen.

The Duke then visited a number of First World War CWGC war graves across the site, before observing a minute's silence and laying flowers at the cemetery's Cross of Sacrifice for Remembrance.

Find out how you can discover more about local war graves on the CWGC website.

The Centenary Fields programme

Later in the afternoon The Duke, as President of Fields in Trust, visited Kensington Memorial Park to officially mark the dedication of the park by the Royal Borough of London & Chelsea to the Centenary Fields programme.

Launched by His Royal Highness in 2014 and in partnership with the Royal British Legion, Centenary Fields helps remember those who lost their lives during World War I by securing and protecting outdoor recreational space in perpetuity for the benefit of future generations.

As we reach the midway point of the commemorative period for the Great War, Fields in Trust continues to build a living legacy to the fallen by protecting Centenary Fields in perpetuity as places for play, sport and recreation

The Duke of Cambridge

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Kensington Memorial Park was officially opened by Princess Louise in 1926 where it was established as a community memorial to those who served in WWI.

90 years since its inception, The Duke met a number of people from the surrounding community who regularly frequent and benefit from the park's facilities, including young players from the local football club and school children and their parents. His Royal Highness heard from the children about their school projects and work to honour Remembrance as they plant poppies in the park, before unveiling a commemorative plaque.

Find out more about the Centenary Fields programme on the Fields in Trust website.

Armistice Day

On the eleventh houron the eleventh day of the eleventh month an armistice was signed ending World War One. Today Armistice Day is an opportunity to remember the heroes of distant wars and those who fell in recent conflicts.

The Prince of Wales attends a Service of Remembrance in Bahrain

The Prince of Wales commemorated Armistice Day at a Service of Remembrance on the last day of his visit to Bahrain. Whilst there, The Prince met Chelsea Pensioners and other veterans at the British Embassy in Bahrain.

Prince Harry attends Armistice Day service

Prince Harry led the Nation in commemorating Armistice Day, 11th November, by attending a Service of Remembrance on the Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

During the service Prince Harry lay a wreath and read the poem 'The Soldier' by Rupert Brooke.

If I should die think only this of me: That there's some corner of a foreign field That is forever England.

Prince Harry reads The Soldier by Rupert Brooke

After the service, His Royal Highness joined representatives from the three services for a parade and march-past of several hundred current serving personnel and Armed Forces veterans where Prince Harry took the salute.

The Arboretum, which is part of The Royal British Legion, is home to over 150 acres of trees and over 330 memorials devoted to the theme of Remembrance.

The memorial, which has recently undergone significant improvement works, is designed so that on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, when a two-minute Silence is called in Remembrance of the cessation of First World War hostilities, a shaft of sunlight dissects its inner and outer walls, hitting the central bronze wreath sculpture.

Prince Harry walked around the Armed Forces Memorial - the Nation’s tribute to the 16,000 service men and women who have died on duty, or as a result of terrorism, since 1948. It is an icon for contemporary Remembrance and its towering Portland Stone walls have been added to annually since it was opened in 2007. The memorial includes the names of the nine men and one woman who died in 2015.

Saturday 12th November

Prince Harry hears about two RFU projects commemorating the First World War

Prince Harry, Vice Patron of the Rugby Football Union (RFU), attended the Autumn International England vs South Africa game at Twickenham Stadium where he heard more about two major RFU projects commemorating the First World War – the newly installed Rose and Poppy Gates, and the RFU's Rose and Poppy short film series, which Prince Harry himself contributed to.

As part of the RFU Great War Commemorations, the Rose and Poppy Gates were installed by the RFU at Twickenham as a lasting memorial to all those who lost the lives as a result of WW1, particularly those from the rugby family. Artist and sculptor Harry Gray incorporated 15 roses at the foot of the gates, copies of those on the 1914 England shirt, which rise into poppies made from the brass of shells fired by German artillery into the Allied trenches. Prince Harry lay a wreath at the gates prior to the match.

From there, His Royal Highness moved to the Spirit of Rugby foyer to meet a number of contributors to the RFU Rose and Poppy film series. The RFU commissioned the film series to tell the story of rugby and the Great War; from the rugby pitches to the battlefields. The films, which are each introduced by Prince Harry, focus on how the Great War impacted rugby communities, telling the stories of rugby heroes and highlighting the links between rugby, rugby values and the military.

The film series was launched to schools and colleges in early September as part of a WW1 Education Resource, and launches nationwide on Monday 7 November. Watch part one here: 

Festival of Remembrance

In the evening, The Queen, accompanied by members of her family, attended the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall. Joining Her Majesty was The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Duke of York, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, The Duke of Gloucester, The Duke and Duchess of Kent and Princess Alexandra.

This year the Festival marked the centenaries of the Battle of the Somme and the Battle of Jutland, the 25th anniversary of the Gulf War and the 80th anniversary of the first flight of the Supermarine Spitfire.

Highlights from the show included performances by Michael Ball and Alfie Boe who sang You'll Never Walk Alone, Laura Mvula's version of Abide With Me and Birdy's rendition of her song Wings.

Remembrance Sunday

On Remembrance Sunday The Queen lead the nation in remembrance at the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph.

National Service of Remembrance

The National Service of Remembrance, held at The Cenotaph in Whitehall on Remembrance Sunday, ensures that no-one is forgotten as the nation unites to honour all who have suffered or died in war.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We Will Remember Them

The Queen paid tribute alongside Members of the Cabinet, Opposition Party leaders, former Prime Ministers, the Mayor of London and other ministers. Representatives of the Armed Forces, Fishing Fleets and Merchant Air and Navy will be there, as well as faith communities and High Commissioners of Commonwealth countries.

Other members of the Royal Family, including The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, The Duke of York and The Earl of Wessex joined the commemoration with some laying wreaths at the Cenotaph. The Service was watched by The Duchess of Cornwall, The Countess of Wessex, The Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Alexandra.

After the service, ex-service personnel, civilians deployed on operations in support of the military, bereaved spouses, representatives of military and associations, and military charities all marched past the Cenotaph to honour fallen comrades, with The Prince of Wales taking this year's salute. 

The Prince of Wales attends Remembrance Service for Welsh Guards Regiment

The Prince of Wales, as Colonel of the Welsh Guards, joined Service Personnel and their families in the Guards' Chapel for a Service of Remembrance.

After presented Long Service and Good Conduct Medals, His Royal Highness lay a wreath at the Guards' Memorial.

The Memorial commemorates those who have given their lives in service to King and Country since 1914. Five life sized bronze soldiers stand easy against a stone cenotaph, each representing one of the Guards' Regiments, 


Remembrance Day

The King leads the nation in remembering those who have died in world wars and conflicts