King Charles led his first Remembrance Day ceremony without his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth, at his side.
Charles and Queen Consort Camilla led the traditional Remembrance Day activities on Sunday meant to honor all fallen soldiers who served the Commonwealth. They kicked off the event on Saturday evening at the Royal Albert Hall where the couple was joined by a number of members of the royal family, including Princess Anne, Prince William and Princess Kate, and Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, to take in the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance. The newly appointed British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was also in attendance. The evening’s entertainment featured a rendition of “I Vow To Thee My Country” sung by Beauty and the Beast star Luke Evans, followed by a memorial montage celebrating the late monarch and her unwavering support of the British military. The next day, King Charles, wearing a bright red poppy pin, headed to Whitehall in Westminster to take in the Remembrance Day procession held at the Cenotaph war memorial. The Queen Consort and the Prince and Princess of Wales joined him there, also wearing the pin used since 1921 to honor those who lost their lives while fighting in the British Army.
And though he may now live outside the United Kingdom, Prince Harry also marked the day by writing an open letter to Scotty’s Little Soldiers, a British charity for bereaved military children and young people. As someone who both lost his mother, Princess Diana, at age 12 and served in the British Armed Forces, the Duke of Sussex wrote, “We share a bond even without ever meeting one another, because we share in having lost a parent. I know first-hand the pain and grief that comes with loss and want you to know that you are not alone.” He continued, “While difficult feelings will come up today as we pay tribute to heroes like your mum or dad, I hope you can find comfort and strength in knowing that their love for you lives and shines on. Whenever you need a reminder of this, I encourage you to lean into your friends at Scotty’s Little Soldiers. One of the ways I’ve learned to cope has been through community and talking about my grief, and I couldn’t be more grateful and relieved that you have amazing people walking beside you throughout your journey. We all know some days are harder than others, but together those days are made easier. Today and every day, I admire and respect all the men and women who have given their lives in service of us—especially those in your family. I am also incredibly proud of you for being the best example in remembering them.”
On Sunday, 55 members of Scotty’s Little Soldiers and their parents participated in the National Service of Remembrance by walking in the parade wearing yellow and black scarves, which Harry said he knew would “be hard, but equally important to do.” He concluded, “Today you will bring new awareness to young people, just like you, who will benefit from this community of support. I salute you for serving others in need, in the most honorable memory of your parent.”
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