As always, the Duchess watched the ceremony from the balcony of the Foreign Office in Whitehall with the Duchess of Cornwall and the Countess of Wessex. Protocol dictates that those married into the family, with the exception of the Duke of Edinburgh, watch from a distance.
The National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in Whitehall is a unique expression of homage devoted to the memory of those who have given their lives in war. It was originally conceived as a commemoration of the First World War's dead 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.
As the clock struck eleven, 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.
Remembrance Sunday is marked on the second Sunday in November. It 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 notable anniversaries include 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.
More from the Royal British Legion:
'The National Service of Remembrance, held at the Cenotaph in Whitehall on Remembrance Sunday, ensures that no-one is forgotten as the nation unites to honour all who have suffered or died in war. HM the Queen will pay tribute alongside Members of the Cabinet, Opposition Party leaders, former Prime Ministers, the Mayor of London and other ministers. Representatives of the Armed Forces, Fishing Fleets and Merchant Air and Navy will be there, as well as faith communities and High Commissioners of Commonwealth countries.'
The Queen led the sombre service at the Cenotaph by laying a wreath.
Other members of the Royal family, including Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex and the Princess Royal also laid wreaths.
Members of the Royal Family paying their respects to our Armed Forces at the Cenotaph.
Below Prince William in RAF dress uniform and Prince Harry in Household Cavalry dress uniform.
Crowds at the Cenotaph.
An overview of the ceremony.
Veterans preparing for the march past.
Marching past the Cenotaph.
Today marks the sixth consecutive year Kate has attended the event.
The Duchess looked solemn in black. Her choice of coat will be a familiar one - the DVF 'Lio' Coat previously worn for Remembrance Sunday in 2011 and 2012.
The wool coat is from the Autumn/Winter 2008 Collection and has detachable cuffs and collar. I thought it an appropriate choice for the nature of the occasion; wearing a coat seen twice before at the same event ensures the focus remains on Remembrance.
Kate wore three poppies on her lapel.
A closer look at Kate's new black velvet and felt John Boyd hat and stunning earrings. The Duchess wore her hair in an elegant chignon.
As you can see, it's remarkably similar to the wide brimmed hat by John Boyd Kate wore for the Commonwealth Service in March.
The amazing Anna suggests Kate is wearing the Queen's Bahrain Pearl Drop Earrings. In 1947 the then Princess Elizabeth received seven larger pearls from the ruler of Bahrain, and two of the pearls were used to create the beautiful pair of earrings.
|From Her Majesty's Jewel Vault|
From Her Majesty's Jewel Vault reports: "The earrings each contain one large round diamond and four smaller ones, three baguette diamonds, and a Bahrain pearl dangling below. The Queen seems to have worn them mainly in the early years of her reign; they were later unearthed for the Buckingham Palace summer exhibit marking her 60th wedding anniversary." More recently they were loaned to the Countess of Wessex and now the Duchess of Cambridge.
|Her Majesty's Jewel Vault/I-Images|
At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.
Lest we forget.