Remembrance Sunday services held across Britain

Queen lays wreath at Cenotaph as more than 9,000 former servicemen and civilians parade in central London

Remembrance Sunday parades and services have been held at war memorials in towns and cities across Britain, with the Queen, as is traditional, laying a wreath at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.

The central London ceremony took place in bright sunshine, with more than 9,000 former servicemen and civilian volunteers joining the march down Whitehall, taking nearly an hour to pass the memorial.

The Queen was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, who at 90 is one of a dwindling band of veterans of the second world war participating in services.

Dressed in the uniform of an admiral of the fleet, the duke laid the second wreath, followed by Prince Charles, in general's uniform, Prince Andrew and Princess Anne, both in naval uniform, and Prince William, in RAF flight lieutenant uniform.

William's wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, joined other members of the royal family – Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and Vice-Admiral Timothy Laurence, Princess Anne's husband – to watch the ceremony from a balcony in the Foreign Office. Prince Harry is due to attend a service in California, where he is training to become a helicopter pilot.

From another balcony further along, Samantha Cameron watched her husband, the prime minister, David Cameron, lay the first government wreath. Three previous prime ministers were also in attendance – John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown – but not Margaret Thatcher, who was too frail to attend.

During the two-minute silence, a distant voice could be heard shouting three times: "No more war", but otherwise the commemoration was not interrupted. Later in the morning, in Tavistock Square a mile away, members of the Peace Pledge Union were due to attend an alternative remembrance ceremony, laying a wreath of white poppies at a memorial to conscientious objectors.

Remembrance services took place in Manchester, Liverpool – where the 70th anniversary of the city's devastation in bombing raids was commemorated – Edinburgh and Belfast and in the Northern Irish town of Enniskillen, where relatives of 11 victims of an IRA bomb explosion on Remembrance Sunday 24 years ago were among those in attendance.

In London, Lieutenant General Sir John Kiszely, the Royal British Legion's national president, said: "We've remembered those who fought for our freedom during the two world wars, but also mourned and honoured those who have lost their lives in more recent conflicts.

"Today would have been a personal time for a lot of people, as we each remember loved ones, friends and comrades who have given their lives in service to the nation."


Stephen Bates

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Queen leads Remembrance Sunday ceremony at Cenotaph
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the first world war and 70 years since the D-day landings

Caroline Davies

09, Nov, 2014 @12:26 PM

Article image
Remembrance Sunday: Queen leads tributes as services held across UK
Monarch marks 70th year of wreath-laying at the Cenotaph, while Jeremy Corbyn urges mourning the dead but also ‘supporting the living’

James Meikle

08, Nov, 2015 @5:24 PM

Article image
Queen leads Britain's remembrance of war dead

Monarch lays wreath at Cenotaph in London as MoD announces death of UK soldier in Afghanistan

Adam Gabbatt and agencies

08, Nov, 2009 @11:48 AM

Article image
Remembrance Sunday marked by silent tributes across the world
Ten thousand people march past the Cenotaph in central London as Queen and politicians pay tribute to Britain's war dead

Maev Kennedy

10, Nov, 2013 @5:09 PM

Article image
Remembrance Sunday: thousands gather to honour the fallen
Royal family and politicians join veterans at Cenotaph, while services held across UK

Caroline Davies

10, Nov, 2019 @3:55 PM

Article image
Queen leads Remembrance Sunday service as William joins Afghan troops

Political leaders join royals at Cenotaph to remember those killed in armed conflict and witness procession by military veterans

Maev Kennedy

14, Nov, 2010 @3:30 PM

Article image
Remembrance Day: Queen leads nation in honouring dead soldiers - video

Queen Elizabeth II leads nation in remembering those who died fighting in all conflicts since first world war

11, Nov, 2012 @1:55 PM

Remembrance Day: Goodbye to all that
Editorial: An observer from another planet might suppose tomorrow's Remembrance Day ceremonies would at the least be tinged with anger


07, Nov, 2009 @12:06 AM

Article image
Remembrance Sunday brings grief, reconciliation and Twitter exasperation

Queen leads commemoration in London and Irish PM heads north as more bad news emerges from Afghanistan

Maev Kennedy and Henry McDonald

11, Nov, 2012 @6:54 PM

Article image
First remembrance service observed without first world war generation

Country marks 11th hour as Queen attends Westminster service to commemorate passing of last three survivors left in Britain

Stephen Bates

11, Nov, 2009 @4:36 PM