On Saturday, members of the Royal Family attended the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, to commemorate men and women who have given their lives whilst serving in the armed forces.
The family were sat in the royal box for the service. The King and Queen Consort sat on front row alongside The Prince and Princess of Wales.
The event came ahead of Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph, The King’s first as Sovereign.
The Princess Royal and her husband, Sir Tim Laurence, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, The Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra were all sat behind the Monarch and heir to the throne for the event.
The Royals were joined by Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace and Ministry of Defence ministers for an evening performance that highlighted the involvement of Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force personnel in HM Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.
The service also served as a tribute to the late Queen and her contribution to the country, and Armed Forces with a clear focus on her service and commitment to duty.
Queen Elizabeth II was Patron of the Royal British Legion, as well as the longest-serving Commander-in-Chief of the British Armed Forces. Princess Elizabeth rose through the ranks of the Auxiliary Territorial Service as a driver, mechanic and junior commander.
The host of the event, BBC anchor Huw Edwards, praised the late Monarch for her devotion to service and duty, which he called the ‘watchwords’ of the military. He added how there has been no individual other than Elizabeth to have symbolised these two words.
Archive footage of the late Monarch was played from across the decades, highlighting her deep connection to the Armed Forces. During the footage, she spoke of the ‘tremendous contribution’ the Armed Forces made to Britain’s ‘standing and reputation’.
‘When Prince Philip and I were married, Britain had just endured six years of war, emerging battered but victorious. Prince Philip had served with the Royal Navy in the Far East, while I was in the ATS learning to drive an ambulance with care.
Members of the Royal Family attended the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance to commemorate the service of those in the armed service.
A special tribute was also made to the late Queen Elizabeth II as the longest serving Commander-in-Chief of the British Armed Forces. pic.twitter.com/t8mPzHSWzE
— The Royal Family Channel (@RoyalFamilyITNP) November 14, 2022
‘The wartime generation, my generation, is resilient and it is with humility and pleasure on behalf of the entire country, indeed the whole free world, that I say to you all: thank you.’
The now-Prince of Wales also featured in the montage, where he noted how ‘duty and service is a guiding example of what a good Monarch can be’.
The Festival also marked the 40th anniversary of the Falklands war (1982), when Argentina invaded the islands, alongside showcasing the British-led operation to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine and efforts to support the NHS.
Veterans from various conflicts spoke about their experiences of conflict, but also praised the Queen’s dedication to service.
Stan Ford, who survived a D-Day torpedo attack on his ship, said: ‘I thank the Queen for her service, and not just during the war. She was a linchpin for all of us. I admired her and I was proud to call her my Queen for all these years.’
John Nichol, a Tornado navigator with the RAF, was shot down in the Gulf War in 1991 with his pilot, captured and held as a prisoner of war in Baghdad for seven week said: ‘When she [the Queen] was called to serve, she did not waver, she did not question what was required.
‘She never said, “I can’t do this”. With great dignity and grace she carried out the task she was called upon to fulfil until her very final days.’
Such an honour to open the @PoppyLegion's Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall last night and perform I Vow To Thee, My Country in front of His Majesty The King, the Queen Consort and other members of the Royal Family. It was an experience I'll never forget. pic.twitter.com/uTjRHh9FVy
— Luke Evans (@TheRealLukevans) November 13, 2022
— Royal British Legion (@PoppyLegion) November 12, 2022
One of her final duties as Monarch was greeting her 15th UK Prime Minister, Liz Truss, at Balmoral Castle.
Musical performances included Luke Evans, who opened the show with a rendition of I Vow To Thee My Country, followed by Andrea Bocelli, Shona McGarty, and performances from military bands.