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.

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