This evening, the Royal Family were out in force to attend the annual Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, on Armistice Day. The Queen led her relatives in commemoration, joined by joined by her husband, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla, as well as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and other members of the Royal Family.
The event is a significant one in the British military calendar, and pays tribute to those who have served in the armed forces. This year’s event pays particular tribute to those who fell at the Battle of Passchendaele, as 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the battle.
As is tradition, the Royals watched the festival from the Royal box balcony overlooking the rest of the guests. Prince Andrew, Duke of York was in attendance, as was The Earl and Countess of Wessex. Princess Anne and husband Tim Laurence also attended the Festival, despite having been in Belgium earlier in the day to lay a wreath at the Menin Gate, and The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were among the family members on the balcony, with Prince Richard having led the Armistice service at the at the National Memorial Arboretum. Siblings The Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra also sat in the royal box.
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The Royal Family, all wearing black and the poppy emblem, was joined by British Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband, plus other political leaders. Veterans and family members also formed a significant part of the audience, including the Chelsea pensioners.
The Festival of Remembrance featured performances by singers such as Melanie C and Alfie Boe, music from military bands and readings of famous poetry or literature associated with various battles. Harrowing witness accounts from the Battle of Passchendaele formed part of this year’s show and Sir Tim Laurence, as Vice Chairman of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, read a lesson during the festival.
— Royal British Legion (@PoppyLegion) 11 November 2017
— Royal British Legion (@PoppyLegion) November 11, 2017
All divisions of the armed forces are represented at the Festival, with representatives from varying ranks present.
In addition to acknowledging those who served in previous battles, the Festival of Remembrance also paid tribute to members of the armed forces who have helped the public in other situations. Various videos discussed the role that the British military has played in the aid effort following hurricanes in the Caribbean earlier this year. There was also recognition for two off-duty members of the Armed Forces who saved Richard Livett’s life during the London terror attack in June.
With three cheers for Her Majesty as head of the Armed Forces, the ceremony came to a close.
The Royal Family will be in attendance at the cenotaph in London tomorrow for the Remembrance service. This will also be a significant occasion, as Prince Charles will lay a wreath on behalf of The Queen, who will not be taking part in this year’s cenotaph service, but will join her husband on the balcony to watch the ceremony instead.
If you will be at the cenotaph tomorrow, don’t forget to read our guide to attending Remembrance Sunday.