The Duchess watched the ceremony from the foreign office balcony with the Duchess of Cornwall and the Countess of Wessex. Protocol dictates those married into the Royal family, with the exception of Prince Philip, watch from a distance.
At precisely 11 a.m. a two minute silence was observed. The silence represents the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, when the guns of Europe fell silent. The time is marked by the firing of a field gun on Horse Guards Parade.
Kate's thoughts no doubt turned to her late grandfather Peter Middleton who trained Canadian pilots during the Second World War; he passed away in 2010, aged 90.
Remembrance Sunday, the second Sunday in November, is the day traditionally put aside to remember those who have given their lives for the peace and freedom we enjoy today. This year's National Service of Remembrance is especially significant, marking the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One, 70 years since the D-Day landings and the end of Britain's conflict in Afghanistan.
Kate chatting with Camilla.
The Cenotaph is a war memorial which began as a temporary structure erected for a peace parade following the end of WWI, but following an outpouring of national sentiment it was replaced in 1920 by a permanent structure and designated the United Kingdom's primary war memorial. Below we see a photo from 11 November 1920 showing the unveiling by George V. Almost a century later, it remains an equally important monument symbolising remembrance.
Prime Minister David Cameron said these anniversaries made this year particularly poignant:
"Today we stand united to remember the courageous men and women who have served our country, defended our freedoms and kept us safe. We remember all those who have fallen and those who have given their lives to protect us. We owe each and every member of our armed forces and the families who support them a tremendous debt - one that can never be repaid."
The march past.
The Queen led commemorations at the Cenotaph by placing a wreath against the stone. There were some concerns for Her Majesty after a series of overnight raids quashed a suspected terror plot that may have involved an attack on the monarch. Thanks to dedicated and thorough police work the plot was foiled. Of course, there was no doubt the Queen would be in attendance today, as this duty is incredibly important to her.
Wreaths were also laid by Prince William, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, The Earl of Wessex, and The Duke of Kent.
Government officials also laid wreaths.
Kate singing the national anthem.
It's been a year of remembrance, with one of the most noticeable and emotive aspects being the Tower Poppies exhibition we've discussed before here on the blog. It has been visited by high-profile figures such as the Prime Minister and members of the Royal family - and has also struck a chord with the public. Demand to see the display has been so high it will remain in place until the end of November.
|Tower of London Facebook Page|
It is the fourth consecutive year Kate has attended the ceremony. In 2011 and 2012 she chose a DVF coat.
And last year she selected the elegant Temperley London Noa Coat with a jacquard diamond check design.
The Duchess appropriately selected a black Alexander McQueen black flared wool coat today. The double-breasted garment features an exaggerated collar, notched lapels, two side slit pockets and button embellished cuffs. It's available for £1,745 at Harvey Nichols. Neiman Marcus are currently selling the coat in white too.
The coat also comes in a shorter version. It's available in black here, in grey at Saks and navy at Harrods.
A closer look at the details.
The design proved very popular with royals. As you can see Sophie chose a very similar McQueen piece. It is believed The Countess is wearing the shorter version.
Kate wore a black dress underneath and a poppy pin on her lapel. She received the piece in Australia during the tour.
The Duchess accessorised with her sapphire and diamond earrings.
And Mappin and Webb Empress pendant.
|Mappin and Webb|
As you've probably noticed from the above photos, Kate repeated the black Jane Corbett hat she wore for the 2011 Remembrance Sunday ceremonies.
You can watch a video here. We leave you with part of 'For The Fallen' by Laurence Binyon.
We'll see Kate on Wednesday when she attends an athletes' workshop in aid of her patronage SportsAid.