Home Civilian based defense King Charles leads Remembrance Day service for first time as British monarch

King Charles leads Remembrance Day service for first time as British monarch

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King Charles III led Remembrance Day commemorations in London on Sunday for the first time as a British monarch, laying a newly designed wreath after a two-minute silence at the Cenotaph war memorial.

The crown designers said it also pays homage to the racing colors used by both Queen Elizabeth II and her grandfather, King George VI.

Charles, who became king following the death of his Elizabeth in September, was joined by other senior members of the royal family, including his son and heir apparent Prince William. His wife and queen consort, Camilla, watched from the balcony of a nearby government building.

Britain’s King Charles III attends the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in Whitehall in London, Sunday November 13, 2022. Toby Melville/AP

Chief of the Defense Staff Tony Radakin said the ceremony honoring British war dead had an “extra emotion” following the loss of the Queen.

“She represented duty and service, but also that dignity of this wartime generation and all that they sacrificed for our freedom,” he told the BBC.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, leaders of opposition political parties, senior ministers and religious representatives also laid wreaths at the ceremony in Whitehall, central London, which was lined by thousands of members of the audience.

The ceremony, which was also attended by seven former prime ministers, is expected to be followed by a parade attended by around 10,000 veterans of the Royal British Legion, representing 300 different armed forces and civilian organisations.

Buckingham Palace said the design of the king’s crown paid homage to the crown of his grandfather King George and his mother Elizabeth, with poppies mounted on an arrangement of black leaves and a ribbon bearing the colors of race of scarlet, purple and gold.

The chimes marking the start of the two-minute silence at 11 a.m. local time (6 a.m. ET) saw the permanent reconnection of the Big Ben bell in Parliament’s Elizabeth Tower, after it had been largely silenced for five years of repair.

Officials said this year’s service was dedicated both to fallen soldiers in past wars and to Ukrainians fighting the Russian invasion.

“We must never forget those who gave their lives to defend our values ​​and our great nation,” Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said.

“We will all also think of those brave Ukrainians who are fighting for their own survival to defend freedom and democracy for all, just as British and Commonwealth soldiers did in both world wars,” he said. declared.