Kate was joined on the balcony in Whitehall by The Countess of Wessex and Sir Timothy Laurence (husband of The Princess Royal). Protocol dictates that those married into the family, with the exception of the Duke of Edinburgh, watch from a distance. Prince Charles and Camilla were notably absent from today's ceremonies. The couple are currently undertaking a tour in India where they attended a service of remembrance at the Afghan Church in Mumbai.
The National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in Whitehall is a unique expression of national homage devoted to the memory of those who have given their lives in war. It was originally conceived as a commemoration of the war dead of the First World War by King George V in 1919, but after the Second World War the scope of the ceremony was extended to focus on the dead of both wars. Remembrance Day or Memorial Day is observed in commonwealth countries.
The streets of London were filled with thousands wanting to pay their respects to those who have fallen in wars. As Big Ben struck 11 a.m., a two minute silence was observed for the remembrance ceremony at the Cenotaph. No doubt Kate's thoughts turned to her late grandfather Peter Middleton who trained Canadian pilots during the Second World War in Calgary. He died in 2010, aged 90.
More from GOV.UK:
'Every year, the two minute silence for the remembrance service on Whitehall is conducted with military precision. On Horse Guards Parade the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery fire their First World War guns to mark the start of the silence, and a Corps of Army Music bugler from the Household Division marks its end at precisely the same time that the guns fire again, 120 seconds later.'
How do they get the timing just right? Last year the responsibility lay on the shoulders of Captain Michael Rose and Staff Sergeant Beer who spent the morning of the ceremony inside one of the clock faces of Big Ben itself ensuring the silence was timed perfectly.
Veteran groups lined up ready for the march past.
|Royal British Legion Twitter Feed|
The Queen led the poignant service around the Cenotaph - which is simply inscribed "The Glorious Dead" - by placing a wreath against the stone.
Her Majesty was followed by other royals including Prince Philip, Prince William, Prince Harry (on behalf of Prince Charles), The Earl of Wessex and The Princess Royal. Below we see William wearing his RAF uniform.
Kate singing the national anthem.
After the national anthem, the royal party attended a reception in the Foreign Office.
It is the third consecutive year the Duchess has attended the ceremonies. Below we see Kate at last year's service.
And her first Remembrance Sunday in 2011.
As expected Kate's apparel reflected the sombre tone of the day. The Duchess wore the £1250 Temperley London 'Noa Coat' (with many thanks to our lovely commenter Sarah who identified it immediately). The elegant piece features a high neck, long sleeves, a single breasted front button fastening, a jacquard diamond check design and a pleated hem. Our Facebook friend Penny shared news the satin quilted garment remains available in limited sizes at Coco Boutique.
The coat is described this way.
'Classic Temperley, the Noa Coat has clean angular shoulders, a nipped in waist and a trapeze flair at the hem. Made of satin quilted in a geometrical pattern and a viscose mix herring bone, it is an exceedingly sharp, timeless dress coat.'
A closer look at the coat.
The Duchess brought back her 'Fairy Tale' hat by Lock & Co. It's a pretty piece which works very well on Kate, it originally retail for £285.
Kate wore her Buckley Poppy Brooch on her lapel. The £25 piece is hand crafted with over 100 ruby and olivine crystals, it is also plated in a gold tone.
Kate accessorised with her Annoushka pearls.
Kate wore her Cornelia James Pure Wool Gloves.
You can watch a video at The Telegraph.
As always, observers paid their respects by wearing poppies.These flowers bloomed across some of the worst battlefields in Flanders in World War I, their vibrant red colour an appropriate symbol for the blood shed in war. During the Second Battle of Ypres a young Canadian artillery officer was killed, he was serving in the same unit as his friend, Canadian military doctor and artillery commander John McCrae - who was asked to conduct the burial service because the chaplain was away. The evening following the burial Major McCrae began the draft for the now famous poem 'In Flanders Fields' which references the red poppies.
We conclude today's post by sharing 'In Flanders Fields'.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Lest we forget.