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Thursday, July 25, 2024

King Charles leads Remembrance Day silence to honour Britain’s war martyrs

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

Charles, who became king after Queen Elizabeth’s death in September, was joined by other senior royals including his son and heir Prince William. His wife and Queen Camilla watched from the balcony of a nearby government building.

Chief of the Defense Staff Tony Radakin said ceremonies honoring Britain’s war dead had “an added poignancy” following the loss of the Queen.

“It represented duty and service, but also the 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 faith leaders also laid wreaths during a ceremony at Whitehall in central London, which was lined by thousands of members of the public.

The ceremony, which was also attended by seven former Prime Ministers, was followed by a march involving around 10,000 Royal British Legion veterans representing 300 different armed forces and civilian organisations.

Buckingham Palace said the royal wreath design pays homage to the wreaths of his grandfather King George and his mother Elizabeth, with poppies on an arrangement of black leaves and a ribbon bearing Charles’ racing colors of scarlet, purple and gold.

The chimes marking the start of the two-minute silence at 11:00 GMT saw the permanent reconnection of Big Ben in Parliament’s Elizabeth Tower after it was largely silenced in 2017 for a five-year conservation programme.

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