William and Kate arriving at the Royal Albert Hall.
It is the second consecutive year the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have attended the event - after their first attendance last year.
Other royals present were the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke of York, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke of Gloucester, the Kents and Princess Alexandra.
Aside from official events such as Trooping the Colour, it's one of the few where we see so many royals assembled together - a sign of the significance and importance it holds.
The performance is put on by the Royal British Legion as part of their poppy appeal. It commemorates those who lost their lives in service of their country. It takes place on the eve of Remembrance Sunday, with two performances on the day - a matinée open to members of the public and an evening show for members of the Legion, their families, officials and royals.
The event has been held at the Royal Albert Hall every year since 1927. Her Majesty has been patron of the Royal British Legion since 1952, only missing two festivals in the many years since.
This year's festival marks the following anniversaries: the centenaries of the Battle of the Somme and the Battle of Jutland, the 25th anniversary of the Gulf War, and the 80th anniversary of the first flight of the Supermarine Spitfire.
The Tri-Service display and standards march on the floor of the Royal Albert Hall.
Performers at the festival included Alfie Boe, Michael Ball, Alexander Armstrong, Birdy, Laura Mvula, Royal Air Force Squadronaires, and the Band of HM Royal Marines. Below, Alfie Boe and Michael Ball performing a rendition of 'You'll Never Walk Alone'.
English tenor and actor Alfie Boe found himself making headlines earlier this week in relation to the Duchess of Cambridge. More from Mail Online:
'I was at a wedding and had the fortune of sitting next to Kate. They brought the main course out and it was lamb chops and I'm not kidding her lamb chop was like three times the size of mine. 'I didn't care who the hell she was, I wanted that lamb chop and that was it. And kindly she said that's a little bit too big for me can I swap dinners?'
The Royal Marines Band demonstrates their drumming skills.
The royals watch the performance.
The Chelsea Pensioners received a standing ovation as they entered to the tune of the Boys of the Old Brigade.
One of the most poignant moments of the performance. Lest we forget.
Silence falls whilst the Last Post is played and poppies fall onto the heads of those who are serving.
The National Anthem concluded the festival.
I always thoroughly enjoy a look at the 'behind-the-scenes' of royal events and the care and preparation that goes into the details. The hanging of the royal hammercloth: An Archivist's duty on the Royal Albert Hall website was an excellent read in which archivist Suzanne Keyte writes: "There are many things that an Archivist expects to find as part of their job, but one of the most unusual and rather lovely jobs at the Royal Albert Hall is caring for the hammercloth and ensuring that it is hung from the balcony in the Royal Box whenever the reigning monarch visits the Hall."
More from the piece:
'The hammercloth is a beautiful and very heavy velvet curtain bearing the Royal Coat of Arms and the initials of the reigning monarch of Great Britain and the Commonwealth. The origin of the word ‘hammercloth’ is rather vague but was usually meant to mean the heavily embroidered cloth that hung over a coachman’s seat on horse drawn coaches, often embroidered with a coat of arms.
Our hammercloth was made for the Royal Albert Hall by the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) in 1878; this date is embroidered on the lower left of its hem. At that time, the RSN was situated on Exhibition Road, very close to the Hall.The hammercloth is only hung when the reigning monarch is present, however there was one exception – when Prince Charles was representing the Queen at the Festival of Remembrance in 1999.
The hammercloth was lent to the Royal School of Needlework in 1997 for their 125th anniversary, and there it was seen by members of the Royal Family who commented that it was the first time they had actually been able to look at.'
This year's poppy appeal is asking the nation to "rethink Remembrance by recognising the sacrifices made not just by the Armed Forces of the past, but by today’s generation too. For many people, Remembrance is associated with the fallen of the First and Second World Wars. While we will always remember them, the Legion wants to raise awareness of a new generation of veterans and Service personnel that need our support".
The Poppy Appeal is the Legion's biggest fundraising campaign held every year in November, the period of Remembrance. Each year, an army of volunteers distribute the iconic paper poppies throughout the nation, collecting donations in return to help support the vital work we do for the Armed Forces community. Members of the public wear the paper poppy on their chest as a symbol of Remembrance: to remember the fallen Service men and women killed in conflict. A brief history of on the appeal: it was first held in 1921, the founding year of the Royal British Legion. Red silk poppies, inspired by the famous First World War poem "In Flanders Fields", sold out instantly and raised more than £106,000. The funds helped WW1 veterans find employment and housing after the war.
If you wish to support the appeal you can donate here or visit the Online Shop here. Below, a look at the shop's Enamel Poppy Badge and the Mini Poppy Jute Bag. 100% of profits go to the legion.
|Royal British Legion|
As expected, the Duchess opted for black tonight, choosing the Temperley London Callas Coat from the designer's Pre-Fall 2014 Collection (with thanks to Anna and Kate's Closet).
The elegant £995 coat features a beautiful floral diamond jacquard fabric. It is now sold out, but a product description on OuterwearTalk shared the following information: "Beautiful knee-length coat made from a lightweight black floral diamond jacquard fabric. Boat neckline with 6 Temperley buttons to close up the front. Nipped in waist with soft gathering at the waistline. Seamed stitched detail on collar and button placket. Fabric composition Italian fabric exclusive to Temperley 41% wool, 32% polyester, 27% acetate and lined in 100% black silk."
More on the background of Alice Temperley's decision to use 'Callas Jacquard' in the Pre-Fall 2014 Collection:
'From a swatch which Alice has treasured since she was 13 years old was created the Callas Jacquard, a story that adds drama and structure to the collection through its structured silhouettes.'
Another look at the coat.
Last year, the Duchess wore a black lace Dolce & Gabbana dress for the performance.
It appears Kate wore her black suede Gianvito Rossi pumps.
Kate carried her velvet black bow Pretty Ballerinas clutch.
You can view the full performance here.
Also this evening, as you've likely heard, Kensington Palace announced the Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of Place2Be, will attend the Place2Be Wellbeing in Schools Awards at Mansion House on Tuesday, 22 November. You may recall the Duchess hosted the awards in 2014 at Kensington Palace.
The Awards celebrate the inspiring ambassadors of positive mental health in Place2Be schools. Kate will attend a reception to meet the finalists in each category and attend the awards ceremony where she will present the Child Champion and Young Person Champion Awards.
We'll see you tomorrow for Remembrance Sunday.