The Queen continues to delegates royal responsibilities to her son and heir Prince Charles, set to one day become the country’s King. Today, the Prince of Wales stepped out of Clarence House in the midst of England’s second lockdown to lead the country in the commemoration of those who have fallen in the line of duty.
For the fourth time since 2017, the Prince of Wales solemnly laid a wreath of red poppies at the Cenotaph while the monarch looked on from the balcony of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office building.
After fixing the wreath at the base of the monument, the future King stepped back and respectfully saluted.
An equerry followed through, laying a wreath on behalf of the Duke of Edinburgh who last attended this service in 2017, the year he retired from public office.
Prince Charles then returned to the base of the Cenotaph once again to lay his own wreath of poppies as Prince of Wales.
Prince Charles taking part in the National Service of Remembrance
The Queen in the company of her lady-in-waiting
His eldest son Prince William added another wreath on behalf of his generation, to honour those who have fallen in more recent wars.
His wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, looked on from a balcony in Whitehall.
Last year, the Duchess proudly stood next to the Queen on her same balcony as they watched the service unfolding.
Royals, politicians and leaders of the Commonwealth gathered at the Cenotaph
However, Government guidelines in place forced the royals to stay two metres apart while paying tribute to the fallen, which meant the Queen could only share her balcony with her lady-in-waiting while Kate was in the company of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
This year’s commemoration falls on the 100th anniversary since the creation of the Cenotaph.
But the coronavirus pandemic has forced organisers to close the service to the public, asking Britons to celebrate the sacrifice of soldiers from the safety of their home.
Kate looked on as Prince William laid his wreath at the Cenotaph
Prince William taking part in the service
Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged Britons to spiritually come together despite the distance created by coronavirus.
He said: “We come together every November to commemorate the servicemen and women from Britain and the Commonwealth who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.
“In this time of adversity, no virus can stop us from honouring their memory, particularly when we have just celebrated the 75th anniversary of victory in the Second World War.
“And in times of trial, our tributes matter even more.
Prince William laying a wreath of poppies at the Cenotaph
Prince Charles is the heir to the throne
“So let’s come together once again and remember those to whom we owe so much.”
Yesterday, Prince Charles shared his thoughts on the legacy of veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice during the two World Wars during an impassioned speech delivered at the Royal Albert Hall during the Festival of Remembrance.
The Prince of Wales, speaking to viewers at home as no member of the public had been allowed to attend the concert in person, spoke of the efforts made by veterans during the ongoing pandemic saying: “We have seen, too, how much the wartime generation continues to teach us.
“The actions of veterans, Captain Sir Tom Moore and Private Joseph Hammond, or of Margaret Payne, and many others like them, offer a shining example of selfless commitment, and of how even those in their later years can achieve so much good by placing others ahead of themselves.
Prince Charles laying a wreath at the Cenotaph on behalf of the Queen
“Their example continues to guide our servicemen and women today.
“Throughout this pandemic, our armed forces have stood side by side with our medical professionals, key workers and emergency services in the fight against coronavirus, whilst maintaining the defence of our nation at home and abroad.”
The prince also drew a parallel between wartime and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, saying the current crisis has “afforded us a keener perspective” on the 75th anniversary of the end of World War 2.
He continued: “Through all this, just as in wartime, the very best of our country has been on conspicuous display.
“We have reaffirmed our faith in each other and in our communities, and seen afresh that service to others underpins our society.”