Remembrance Day

On the second Sunday of each November, The King leads the 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.

What happens on Remembrance Day?

The King and other Members of the Royal Family join political leaders, current and ex-members of the Armed Forces and World War veterans at the foot of the Cenotaph memorial. As the bells of Big Ben toll eleven, and a single gun on Horse Guards Parade is fired, two minutes of complete silence is held in remembrance of all lost in war. Once a further round of gunfire signifies the end of the silence, the bugle call 'The Last Post' is played. His Majesty and others, including High Commissioners from the Commonwealth, lay wreaths of poppies at the foot of the Cenotaph.

Designed by British architect Edwin Lutyens, the Cenotaph (meaning ‘empty tomb’) symbolises the unprecedented losses suffered during the First World War and has since become the National focal point of Remembrance. It was unveiled by King George V in 1920, and every Monarch since has continued to lay a Wreath on Remembrance Sunday.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth laid a Wreath at the Cenotaph every year of Reign, until 2017 when she asked, then The Prince of Wales, to lay a Wreath on her behalf.

After a short religious service and another bugle call ('The Rouse'), the National Anthem is sung and The King departs. War veterans then march in a slow procession past the Cenotaph to show their respects. A Member of the Royal Family takes the salute as the war veterans finish their route.

How else do the Royal Family mark Remembrance?

The King and Members of the Royal Family attend a number of engagements each year in the lead-up to Remembrance Sunday. These include the annual Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall and the opening of the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey.

Related content

Prince Harry's speech at the closing ceremony of the Orlando Invictus Games

You are all Invictus. You are now ambassadors for the spirit of these games. Spread the word. Never stop fighting. And do all you can to lift up everyone around you.

12 May 2016

Invictus Orlando

09 May 2016

Prince Harry's speech at the Opening Ceremony of the Invictus Games in Orlando

I cannot tell you how proud and excited I am to open the second Invictus games here in America

08 May 2016

Prince Harry speaks in Toronto ahead of the 2017 Invictus Games

I can’t wait to see how Canada embraces the games and rises to the challenge of telling Chapter 3 of the Invictus story

04 May 2016
Press release 28 April 2016

Prince Harry to visit Toronto and Florida

Read more
Press release 28 April 2016

The Duke of Cambridge launches Cyberbullying Taskforce

Read more

Royal Maundy Service 2016

24 March 2016

A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce declaration signing

Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us here at Buckingham Palace for the signing of this declaration. Lord Hague, on behalf of everyone here, can I say a huge...

15 March 2016

Behind the scenes: Investitures

A look at preparations before The Queen holds an Investiture at Buckingham Palace

The Royal Foundation of The Prince and Princess of Wales

Find out more about the primary vehicle for Their Royal Highnesses' philanthropic work...

The Coronation: history and ceremonial

The coronation ceremony has remained essentially the same over a thousand years...

What is Trooping the Colour?

A display of military precision and horsemanship to mark The Queen's official birthday

A speech by Prince Harry at an Endeavour Fund reception

Trust them, trust yourselves – for you had the same training.

11 November 2015

A speech by Prince Harry at Fort Belvoir

From that moment, I knew I had a responsibility to help all veterans, who had made huge personal sacrifices for their countries, to lead healthy and dignified lives after...

28 October 2015

A speech by Prince Harry on the Invictus Games at the Ambassador's Residence, Washington DC

Invictus 2016 is going to be a huge success – let’s get out there and let’s make this happen.

28 October 2015
Press release 18 July 2015

Events to mark the anniversary of VJ Day

Read more
Press release 19 June 2015

An update from Kensington Palace

Read more

A speech by Prince Harry at the Service of Dedication for the Bastion Memorial

The names of the Fallen shine in gold, as they do in our memories.

11 June 2015

A speech by Prince Harry at the Walking with the Wounded "Walk of Britain" Launch

As I make this transition myself, I'm determined to do all I can to help others.

18 March 2015