Princess Anne, The Princess Royal has spent Armistice Day in Belgium, attending a service of remembrance at the Menin Gate, plus other engagements.
Joined by her husband, Sir Tim Lawrence – who is Vice Chairman of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission – the Princess began her day at Talbot House, which was in small area of unoccupied Belgium during the First World War. Today the house is a museum and a bed and breakfast, though had been a locale for drinking and relaxing during the early part of the 20th century.
Whilst there, Anne gave an MBE to Jan Louagie.
It was then to Menin Gate for Princess Anne, who commemorated the dead of WWI, and other conflicts, at the famous cemetery in Belgium.
Laying a wreath and observing the two minutes’ silence, the royal couple joined hundreds of military personnel, dignitaries, politicians and descendants of the fallen at the imposing structure on Armistice Day; 11am on 11th November 1918 marked the end of WWI fighting.
The Last Post was played by a lone bugler, and poppy petals fell from the skies during the ceremony.
Every evening, the Last Post is played at the Menin Gate to honour of the soldiers who have lost their lives during the war.
The day also saw The Queen’s daughter go to Bedford House Cemetery at Ypres, which is the largest British war cemetery in mainland Europe. Here, 11,956 Commonwealth soldiers are buried.
Anne also visited workshops and attend a reception at Commonwealth War Graves Commission Office also at Ypres; and headed to Tyne Cot Cemetery in Zonnebek. The land at Zonnebek was donated by King Albert of Belgium for the war-dead of both international conflicts.
The Duke of Gloucester spent the morning at the National Memorial Arboretum commemorating the armistice.
Yesterday, Prince Harry opened Westminster Abbey’s Field of Remembrance, and tomorrow, The Queen will stand on the balcony of the Foreign Office during the national Remembrance Sunday ceremony; this is the first she has not taken part in for decades.