The Duchess wore a military-inspired look for Remembrance Sunday events today.
The ceremony gets underway at 11am. That is because the armistice ending the First World War between the Allies and Germany took effect at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
The Countess of Wessex and Duchess of Sussex.
The veterans taking part in the March past the Cenotaph start lining up well before 11 am.
Below, a Chelsea Pensioner forming up at Horse Guards Parade.
You’ll note that many wear their regimental stripe ties.
A wide shot.
A pensioner (l) chatting with Sgt. Johnson Beharry.
The International War Museum notes that “Johnson Gideon Beharry carried out two separate acts of great courage while serving in Iraq with the 1st Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.” More about the Sergeant from a Forces.net story:
In recognition of two selfless acts of bravery, Beharry became the first person to be awarded a Victoria Cross in the 21st century.
He also became the first living recipient of the VC in more than 30 years.
Many thanks to Jayne for her comment letting us know about Sgt. Beharry.
Each year more than 100 blind veterans take part in the Whitehall ceremony. Below, two from this year’s Blind Veterans UK contingent. On the left, you see 96-year-old Margaret, who joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force in 1942 as a wireless operator at RAF Syerston, described as a hard, and often dangerous duty.
Margaret in 1943.
This looks like it might be three generations of one family.
One final group from Horse Guards Parade as veterans prepare to take part in the service.
The service “honors the service and sacrifice of the Armed Forces community, the British and Commonwealth veterans, the Allies that fought alongside us and the civilian servicemen and women involved in the two World Wars and later conflicts” per the Royal British Legion.
The Cenotaph is seen from above before wreaths are laid upon it.
The Telegraph reports, “As Big Ben struck 11am, a two minutes silence was observed, with its beginning and end marked by the firing of a gun by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.”
Prince Charles led today’s observation.
He laid the first wreath at the Cenotaph on behalf of The Queen.
A quick video.
— BBC Studios Events (@BBCStudiosLive) November 10, 2019
This is the third year HM has observed the ceremony from the balcony of the Foreign and Commonwealth Offices.
A wreath was laid on behalf of the Duke of Edinburgh as well; he retired from royal duties in 2017. Prince William and Prince Harry prepare to lay their wreaths at the monument.
Another view shows Prince William, Prince Harry, and Prince Andrew.
Other royals attending include (left to right) Prince Edward, Princess Anne, and the Duke of Kent.
Former prime ministers Theresa May, David Cameron, and Gordon Brown. There was a total of five former prime ministers at today’s ceremony.
After wreaths were laid by dignitaries, politicians and other officials, there was a service led by Bishop of London Dame Sarah Mullally. Below, Sophie, Countess of Wessex; Meghan, Duchess of Sussex; Sir Timothy Laurence.
In her story for Town and Country Victoria Murphy notes, “This year marks 100 years since the first two-minute silence on November 11, 1919, marking the moment the First World War came to an end a year earlier.”
A broader view of the scene in Whitehall this morning.
If wondering what the view is from the balcony, here is a photo shared by Sir Simon McDonald, the Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
It is clearly a solemn day for HM and all attending.
The Prince of Wales.
Nearly 900 personnel from the Royal Navy, Army, and Royal Air Force were present at the Cenotaph for today’s ceremony. Below, the Band of the Irish Guards.
Troopers from the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment known as the Queen’s Life Guards.
A contingent from the Royal Navy.
Four Scots Pipes banners.
From the BBC’s coverage: “Following the service, crowds lined the streets in the winter sun to watch as up to 10,000 war veterans marched in a slow procession past the war memorial.”
Continuing the BBC’s report: “Regiments and societies walked past the Cenotaph in groups, their pace matching the drumbeat of a brass band.”
Unfortunately, I do not know the branch of service or division/unit for these gentlemen. UPDATE: With thanks to Liora for her comment, it looks like these gentlemen are ‘Chindits,’ the name given to the Long Range Penetration (LRP) groups operating in the Burmese jungle in the Second World War.
A news release I read this morning said that many veterans left their wheelchairs for part/all of the March past the Cenotaph. That appears to have been the case with this gentleman, another WW II veteran who served with the Long Range Penetration (LRP) groups in Burma (now Myanmar). On the Royal British Legion Facebook page, this photo is accompanied by comments saying he elected to leave his wheelchair and march past the monument under his own power.
A video of some of the veterans as they marched.
After the #Cenotaph the indefatigable veterans march past the Guards Memorial where HRH The Duke of York took the salute accompanied by @ColdstreamBand #RemembranceSunday #yourarmy @TheDukeOfYork @HCav1660 @PoppyLegion @BritishArmy @Corpsarmymusic @RoyalFamily pic.twitter.com/X4vnn4Zm3G
— The Army in London (@ArmyInLondon) November 10, 2019
As you can see, it was a beautiful sunlit morning.
The mascot of the Royal Hampshire Regiment Veterans.
HM is the only living head of state who served in World War II. Below, a lighter moment from this morning.
The Royal British Legion also shared images from Horse Guards Parade that are brighter in spirit.
It was colder than it may have looked, and a cup of something warm was a good idea.
Here’s one gentleman whose waistcoat matches the regimental ties.
Now for our look at what Kate wore.
She was in a military-inspired jacket with a high point collar, front zipper, padded shoulders, and braided trim; it is a sharply tailored piece. The Daily Mail reports it is by Alexander McQueen. Below, a closer look at the swagged trim, reminiscent of the braided aiguilette trim found on some uniforms.
UPDATE NOV 12: With thanks to Sofia for her email and screengrab, I have now seen The Daily Mail’s reference to the jacket as being by Catherine Walker. The piece has many classic Catherine Walker design characteristics. I have contacted the company’s public relations firm to see if they can say if this is a Catherine Walker piece.
UPDATE NOV 12 #2: I just heard back and the coat is by Catherine Walker.
Kate’s hair was styled in an elaborate updo.
She wore a new hat.
It is an elegant design
remains unidentified by Philip Treacy. This offers a different view with a look at the netting and embellishment. There are reports it is a Philip Treacy piece, but I have not seen confirmation this is the case. Many thanks to the UFO No More team for that information.
The Duchess wore a new poppy, one that several WKW friends predicted she might wear. It is the Codebreakers Brooch from the Royal British Legion, released earlier this year to honor those who worked in signal intelligence during the Second World War. You may remember that Kate’s grandmother, Valerie Glassborow, and twin sister Mary, both worked in signal intelligence during WWII. Below, Valerie Glassborow. Both were employed as Foreign Office Civilians at Bletchley Park in the area that managed the interception of enemy signals for decryption. Kate has visited Bletchley Park twice and learned more about their work. This link takes you to the Royal British Legion USA site and product page for the Codebreakers Brooch ($35). (This link goes to the UK product page.) Each brooch comes in special packaging with a certificate recognizing one of the 13,000 men and women on the Bletchley Park Roll of Honour. The Duchess wore the Bahrain Drop earrings on loan from the Queen. They are thus named because the earrings were created using pearls that were a wedding gift to Princess Elizabeth from the ruler of Bahrain. Kate wore them for Remembrance Sunday in November 2016, and we have also seen them on other occasions, like Trooping the Colour in June.
A video that sums up the sentiment of the day.
— WarGravesCommission (@CWGC) November 10, 2019
NOTE: With thanks to SNK for her comment pointing out the error, the post has been corrected to note the armistice took effect at 11 am, it was not signed at that time as I initially wrote.
Here are almost two hours of ITV’s live coverage from the morning.
The Royal Family Channel offers more than 3 minutes of coverage in this video.
This is seven minutes of coverage from Scotland, the Black Watch Pipe and Drums as they marched down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile from Edinburgh Castle Esplanade to Mercat Cross, shared on YouTube by a gentleman named Jim Ramsay.
Here is a 1-minute video on the Codebreakers Poppy Brooch from the Royal British Legion.
The Press Association has about :45 seconds of video showing poppies being released over the White Cliffs of Dover.
As the nation fell silent to remember the fallen, a gentle shower of poppies fell over the famous White Cliffs of Dover pic.twitter.com/KtAGxYtfHt
— PA Media (@PA) November 10, 2019
- A background piece on Remembrance Day from the Telegraph is here
- The Daily Mirror’s coverage is here; The Daily Mail’s primary story is here; the Mail’s piece about the Codebreakers Brooch is here; a BBC article is here;
- Victoria Murphy’s Town & Country story is here; a Town & Country gallery is here; a Hello article is here; the Fug Girls post is here; Ella Kay’s Court Jeweller post about the jewelry worn today is here; a PopSugar gallery is here