Home Royal News Earl and Countess of Wessex remember the fallen at National Memorial Arboretum

Earl and Countess of Wessex remember the fallen at National Memorial Arboretum

by Victoria Howard

The Earl and Countess of Wessex headed to Staffordshire and the National Memorial Arboretum, for the annual Remembrance Day service, to honour the fallen.

Prince Edward and Sophie made the journey to the Midlands for Armistice Day commemorations, as Prince Charles and Camilla attended a service to mark 100 years since the burial of the Unknown Soldier at Westminster Abbey. The events came after Sunday’s national commemoration at the Cenotaph, attended by senior Royals.

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Of course, the event was restricted amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. The royal couple were two of a small number of representatives from the Armed Forces, Government, Royal British Legion and NMA at the service.

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The Earl and Countess joined the nation in a two-minutes’ silence at 11am, which marks the exact time a ceasefire began in 1918, ending the conflict of the First World War. The Treaty of Versailles was finalised the following year.

A wreath and bouquet were placed at the outdoor Armed Forces Memorial, in memory of the war dead by the royal couple.

Prince Edward lays a wreath at the Armed Forces Memorial, National Memorial Arboretum (@RoyalFamily)

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The Earl and Countess of Wessex honoured the war dead at the National Memorial Arboretum (@RoyalFamily)

The round memorial, iconic as a symbol of remembrance in the UK, is aligned just so, that on at 11am on 11th November each year, the sun should shine through a slit in the memorial stones and onto the central sculpture of a wreath.

As part of the service, Prince Edward read from the Gospel of John, while Sophie read a passage from Phillip Larkin’s poem ‘MCMXIV’.

The Countess is Honorary Air Commodore of Royal Air Force Wittering, and she wore her pin to mark this today, as well as an enamel poppy. Edward, meanwhile, wore his officers’ uniform as Colonel in Chief of 2nd Battalion, the Rifles. His poppy was on his hat.

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Members of the Band of the Scots Guards and Emily Haig performed during the service.

Following the service, the Royals viewed the names of those who died in service on the monument; the white Portland stone blocks that make up the memorial are all inscribed, with some room left for those who will inevitably and sadly follow.

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