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

News

Remembrance 2023

09 November 2023
The King salutes The Cenotaph
Feature

The Duke of Cambridge unveiled a new Submariners memorial

The Duke of Cambridge unveiled a new Submariners memorial at the National Arboretum
Feature

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The Duke and Duchess attended the St. Patrick's Day Parade at Mons Barracks
Feature

The inaugural Earthshot Prize Ceremony Awards London

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the first ever Earthshot Prize Awards Ceremony
Feature

The Duke of Cambridge attended The Royal Foundation’s Emergency Services Mental Health Symposium

The Duke of Cambridge spoke to emergency services from across all four nations.

A speech by The Duchess of Cambridge at the Royal Foundation's Forum on the Early Years

The Duchess of Cambridge has spoken of her ambition to put the Early Years on an equal footing with the other great social challenges and opportunities of our time during an...

27 November 2020
Feature

The Duchess of Cambridge reveals the results of her 5 Big Questions survey

The Duchess of Cambridge reveals the results of her 5 Big Questions survey
News

Remembrance 2020

02 November 2020

A message from Her Majesty The Queen on the 75th anniversary of VJ day

May the memory of their sacrifice and bravery remain with us always.

15 August 2020
Feature

An Open Letter from The Duchess of Cambridge to Midwives

The Duchess of Cambridge has written an open letter to midwives across the country

The Countess of Wessex's speech at the Sovereign's Parade, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

As you climb each step think of the thousands of officers who have gone before you; those who fought and survived, those who fought and died in the many campaigns since...

13 December 2019
Feature

Remembrance 2019

Members of the Royal Family remember the war dead.
Feature

The King's Cup

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will host the inaugural regatta The King’s Cup in 2019
Feature

The 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings

Members of the Royal Family remember the sacrifices made during the Allied landings

A speech delivered by The Duke of Cambridge at a United for Wildlife Joint Taskforce meeting

It has taken a lot of hard work – and real commitment – to get to the point where you are all sitting here together today. And we should all feel proud that we’re starting to...

14 May 2019

Remarks by The Duchess of Cambridge at The Royal Foundation’s ‘Mental Health in Education’ Conference

The scientific and other evidence is clear the first few years of a child’s life are more pivotal for development and for future health and happiness than any other single...

13 February 2019

A speech by The Duke of Sussex at The Endeavour Fund Awards

You do not have to be defined by your injury or disability. It does not have to hold you back.

07 February 2019