Meghan and Harry spent their evening at the last event of Remembrance Week; the evening service marking the Centenary of the Armistice that senior members of the royal family are attending at Westminster Abbey.
In addition to being Remembrance Sunday, today is the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice and the end of World War I, so the day’s significance is heightened.
Both Meghan and Harry have been spending the week attending engagements marking Remembrance week. Last night they joined the Royal family at Royal Albert Hall for the Festival of Remembrance. An today, they were at the Cenotaph for Remembrance Sunday service.
Today’s event marks the centenary of the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front.
A video showing the royal family arriving
A photo of the queen arriving
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arriving for the service
Prince Charles and Camilla arriving:
The president of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who earlier laid a wreath at the Cenotaph, was also present at the event. He stood by the Queen while tributes were laid at the tomb of the unknown soldier who is buried in the Abbey.
The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior
The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior is a grave that contains the body of an unknown British soldier from the First World War who is buried inside the Abbey. The body was brought from France to be
buried on 11th November 1920, and this year marks the centenary of the interment.
During the wedding of The Queen Mother and King George VI in 1923, The Queen Mother paused on her way down the aisle to lay her bouquet on the grave of the Unknown Warrior, in memory of her brother Fergus who was killed in 1915 at the Battle of Loos during the First World War. Lady Elizabeth became the only Royal bride to walk down the aisle without her bouquet. When Meghan got married, her wedding bouquet was sent to the abbey and placed on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.
Many may find it strange to bury an unknown soldier in a royal place, but the idea to do so came from a chaplain on the frontlines named David Railton. In 1916 David noticed a grave in a garden at Armentières, which was marked with the words “An Unknown British Soldier”. He then wrote the Dean of Westminster, Herbert Ryle in 1920, asking whether it might be possible to bury an unknown soldier in the Abbey to represent those who could not be put to rest by their families.
“They have all grasped something of the true meaning. Those whose loved ones were amongst the ‘unknown’ know that in this Tomb there may be – there is – resting the body of their beloved.”
Meghan and Harry alongside William and Kate walked by the grave
Meghan and Harry took their seats alongside the royal family
Dean of Westminster, Dr. John Hall, prayed for a time when the conflict was “transformed into friendship and collaboration”.
He also said: “As we mark today the centenary of the Armistice that brought to an end the First World War, we remember with sorrow the sacrifice of lives on all sides of the conflict and the suffering of the devastated and bereaved.
Actress Sophie Okonedo read from the diaries of social reformer Beatrice Webb, dated November 11, 1918. The diary entry said: “PEACE! London to-day is a pandemonium of noise and revelry, soldiers and flappers being most in evidence.
The choir of Westminster Abbey sang throughout the service, and readings were delivered by Theresa May and Prince Charles.
The Royals departing
To mark Centenary of the Armistice, Meghan wore:
Meghan opted for a navy-blue ensemble for the evening service. Usually, the Palace release all details about the outfit the Duchess’s wearing during royal engagements. But because Remembrance events are so emotional and sad, the Palace doesn’t reveal anything. We will only know the designer behind what I assume is bespoke if Meghan re-wears it for future engagements.
Meghan styled it with a pair of Aquazzura Navy Suede Deneuve Bow Pumps
In case you haven’t read my post covering this Remembrance Sunday post – click here to have a read.