Sunday, 14 November 2021

A Sombre Remembrance Sunday

The Royal family gathered at the Cenotaph for this morning's Remembrance Sunday ceremonies in London.

The Duchess of Cambridge joined the Duchess of Cornwall and the Countess of Wessex on the balcony of the Foreign Office in Whitehall.

Sadly Her Majesty was missing from today's ceremony. Under advice from her medical team, the Queen's diary currently lists 'light engagements' such as Zoom calls and meetings at the palace. Remembrance Sunday was said to be unnegotiable, she sees it as "one of her most sacred duties". However, this morning, Buckingham Palace confirmed the monarch would not attend "with great regret" and "disappointment". The Palace said the Queen sprained her back. I know we all wish Her Majesty the very best and look forward to seeing her again.

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This year’s event marks the centenary of the symbol of Remembrance and the Royal British Legion.

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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.

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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."

Prince William wore his RAF Uniform.

On behalf of the Queen, the Prince of Wales laid a wreath. A very Happy Birthday to the future King who celebrates his 73rd birthday today.

William laid a wreath.

A Salute from the Princess Royal.

Members of the Royal Air Force lay wreaths.

The royals sing a hymn.

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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.

The march past is an annual event for British and Commonwealth former military and civilian service personnel, allowing them to honour the fallen of the British Armed Forces involved in the two World Wars and all conflicts since.

On the 'eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month' in 1918 the Armistice was signed.

“The greatest day in the world's history. The armistice was signed at 5. a.m. & fighting ceased at 11… & at 11. we went on to the balcony” – Queen Mary writes in her diary on 11 November 1918. The flag below was waved by Queen Mary on Armistice Day.

A video of the service.

The Duchess rewore the McQueen military-inspired, bespoke coat with a white collar and red epaulettes she debuted in 2018. It is a custom version of the Military Lace Insert Jacket. It is described: "This fine design nods to the signature military trend seen for many seasons on the runways of Alexander McQueen shows. The virgin wool composition of this cropped jacket forms a comfortably tailored fit, featuring metallic button fastenings." It also featured elements of the brand's black Military Jacket.

Kate accessorised with the black wide-brimmed Lock & Co Tiffany hat


The Duchess also owns the piece in blue and has worn it on several occasions. 

And Diana's pearl earrings.

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The Duchess wore three poppies and a small poppy brooch.

Three years ago, Kate visited the Imperial War Museum to learn more about the three brothers of her great-grandmother, all of whom fought and died in the First World War. It's likely the three poppies are in memory of Francis, Maurice and Lionel Lupton. I have no doubt she's thinking of them today -- as are all with a relative who made the ultimate sacrifice.



'When you go home, tell them of us and say,
For your tomorrows these gave their today.'
                            - John Maxwell Edmonds

Lest we forget.

52 comments:

  1. I have already seen that hat but not on her. Anyone?

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    1. I couldn't place it either for a couple of hours and then I remembered it's the Lock & Co Tiffany. Kate has worn it in blue several times.

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  2. I watched on Sky News from South Africa. It was a beautiful service and yes somehow more sombre. I think the queen's failing health and an end of an era is on everybody's mind. So much has changed for the royal family. Charlotte wont you please add a series of photos next to each other of all Kate's Remembrance day appearances as you sometimes do? I love to see all of them together.

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    1. @Lize - I too enjoy seeing Kate "through the years." If Charlotte doesn't have them, I google them as it fascinating to see. I too felt it as sombre without HRM.

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  3. I don't remember ever seeing such sad faces -- makes me worry about the Queen. On a nonpersonal and purely philosophical note, it is worrisome that someone who played as big a role in the war effort as she was able is not well enough to attend, although I can understand that she may not be seriously ill. Being able to dress and participate in a zoom is so much less strenuous than appearing outside and standing for a while.

    Thank you to Elle for telling me about Kate's earrings in the previous post. It all makes me wonder how much of Diana's jewelry in owned by Kate and Meghan and has never been worn.

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    1. @Allison - my pleasure! Those are earrings that are iconic to me considering I watched Diana go from shy Di to most photographed woman (for more than one reason). This is why I can't understand why Kate keeps buying Kiki earrings (nothing against them) but why not leverage what already exists? Perhaps William was waiting for Harry to get married, and then perhaps given their "distance" they've never divided it up? Diana was given a number of lavish jewels on her wedding day from foreign royals (and I'm guessing they would prefer their gifts be worn as well). @Charlotte would be a wonderful to have a post on Diana's jewels passed on to Kate and Meghan and her remaining well known pieces. :-)

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    2. I would also like Kate to wear more jewels from the Queen, but it seems the Queen lends just a few. I don't think she has ever lent anybody a broch for instance? And she lents one tiara each and just one.
      As for Diana's jewels, it is a mystery. She had beautiful pieces that neither Kate nor Meghan have ever worn. Perhaps they were given or sold?

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    3. It is a mystery to me. Obviously Meghan received at least some lovely pieces -- the aquamarine ring, the watch, the tennis bracelet, the butterfly earrings -- but Kate has not worn that many. Meghan seems to prefer smaller items but Kate has occasion to wear larger pieces. I think there must be more! :)

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    4. I still think it's weird to wear you dead mother-in-law's (whom you've never met) jewels.
      (I wouldn't) Perhaps they are in trust for the female grandchildren.
      Also, don't forget, there are oodles of private parties and gatherings we don't witness where jewelry can be shown off. Just because "we" don't see them doesn't mean they aren't in play.

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  4. Just a question, why do the men clip their jackets up?

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    1. Lise , it’s to make room for the dress sword they are wearing as part of their uniform

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    2. It is a vestige of war practices of former generations. One needs quick access to one's sword.

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    3. Pretty sure it is to accommodate the swords they carry.

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    4. Thank you. I havvent noticed it before.

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  5. Beautiful post Charlotte. I was sorry to learn that the Queen would have to miss out.

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  6. So worried about the Queen.

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    1. Ditto Sophie...😟 HM must have been so disappointed and upset not to be there... and her loved ones must be very upset too. Perhaps the news that HM would not be able to attend arrived not long before the ceremony.

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  7. A very sombre day indeed. We must never forget. 🙏. The Duchess look today is perfect, a nice repeat. Very sad not to see the Queen there this morning. We all know how much today means to her. Prince Charles isn't very good at hiding his emotions. He looked visibly upset today and anxious. I really hope her Majesty is OK. S. ☺

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    1. So do I. It was sad not to see her on the balcony as expected

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  8. May we never forget and draw strength from the memory of those who laid down thier lives for a greater cause. This is beautiful Charlotte. Thank you

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  9. Very moving ceremony, the Royals looked so sad which is likely to do with the recent loss of Prince Philip.

    Kate looked lovely, that coat is my favourite of all her Remembrance Sunday outfits to date and the hat softened the look, She looked appropriate and respectful of the occasion.

    Camilla and Sophie also both looked nice. Loved Camilla’s feathery hat. A good showing from all the Royal ladies in the absence of the Queen who I hope will recover soon.

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    1. I love Camilla's large, feathery hats!

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    2. Camilla's style of hats suits her.

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  10. My thoughts turn to the Queen today in prayer for a return to good health.

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  11. It was really odd not to see The Queen at the ceremony. They were very solemn today which is in keeping with the day. I can’t help think there was also some sadness.

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  12. It’s been an incredible week for re-wears. There aren’t many occasions to wear this jacket, so I’m glad to see it today. This outfit looks good on Kate, and I think the hat softens it up a little. I like the hat, especially from a side view. The earrings work well here.

    I appreciate how much England (and possibly Europe) honors Remembrance Day/veterans. I know we have ceremonies in the States, but it just doesn’t seem like as much. So glad the royals take part. It’s a beautiful ceremony that properly honors. Thank you, as always, for taking your time to craft these posts. It is much appreciated. Sue

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  13. She is beautiful and elegant but fir me the hat and the dress are too different styles and putting them togethet seem a little bit strange. Tiffany hat with military style...do not really see them together too much.

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    1. I thought the same the last time she wore this coat and I think it's the reason I don't much like it (the coat). I like the one she wore in 2013. However, she still looked very appropriate.

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    2. On the other hand it softens the look

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    3. I love this coat as well. Earlier this week, I commented "hope she does a repeat and picks the McQueen with the white collar." :-) But I too find the hat to be a 'odd choice' for this coat. I would have liked to have seen either the black Jane Corbett hat she wore for the 2011 Remembrance Sunday ceremonies and repeated in 2014 or the John Boyd design wide brim chapeau she wore at the Remembrance Service and memorial service for the sixth Duke of Westminster in 2016.

      And then Charlotte, doesn't Kate own that Alexander McQueen black Military Jacket you showed? I think I remember her wearing it with a skirt at an event with Charles and Camilla - if it's the same, she looked lovely wearing it.

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  14. Kate, in that hat, looks so much like Diana (in the fourth pic with just Kate and Sophie, especially!)

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  15. Its lovely to see the Duchess in this rewear, it is a gorgeous coat, perfect for the occasion. She looks very regal and elegant. Love the pearl drop earrings, excellent choice, lovely to see her wearing them again.

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  16. A sombre day to remember. With every year there will be less of the members of the great Generation. We shall never forget their sacrifice and love for God and Country. Their willingness to do their part, should be a call to Duty, to protect their gift of Freedom to us all, and beyond. Dss"s Camilla, Kate and Css Sophie, looked very nice in deed. Did anyone represented the House of York?

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    1. Yes, it makes one think of all our departed in the many wars around the world. I am greatful for Britain's tradition of remembrance. Thank you for your posts Charlotte. "Less we forget."

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  17. Tammy from California14 November 2021 at 23:06

    I will echo the sentiments everyone else has: very sad that the Queen couldn't attend. A somber day for sure. It seems this is her generation and she has always felt a special connection to it. For her not to be there, it must feel very sad for her.

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  18. Always a moving occasion. Catherine and all the ladies looked wonderful. A nice repeat for Kate and I like the hat with the coat dress. Sorry The Queen was not able to attend, hope she feels better and is able to enjoy the Christmas season with her family.

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  19. I had never watched the ceremony and it is so meaningful and somber. And long -- I can see how it might be hard for the Queen to stand for 45 minutes. I hope she's well enough to put out a zoom soon.

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  20. I'm a big fan of Kate. Don't feel it's appropriate to wear a coat that's so reminiscent of a military uniform to the Remembrance Parade.

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    1. I watched it on TV. Most of the people who were there were wearing military uniforms. S. ☺

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  21. This may sound silly but as an American, I had not realized how many are involved in Remembrance Day. I think I thought it was only the RF! But seeing the huge audience and the royal ladies standing on the little high balcony (all of them who married into the RF), it looks like a almost solitary spot. So vulnerable. I do not think I could happily do that job, but Kate is just perfect. I do think she's perfect for the country, and she and her family are perfect to support William. I could not do it with all the people guiding, helping, and probably dictating. I could not have a regular staff, dresser, nanny, etc. Maybe growing into the position gradually helped, but I also think her strong family background allows her to take the right direction for her. William and the RF are beyond lucky to have her. I just think of all the freedom William's cousins have, and it must be hard to have to trade that for the spotlight. Especially as the job never ends.

    I appreciate that she smiled today -- the others looked so terribly dismal.

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  22. i hope the queen is healthy and can bounce back the duchess is looking god its been beautiful and sombre event

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  23. While so think those extreme look-a-like military styles are definitely a cool photo prop and Kate can wear them really well, I am not sure if they don’t venture a tad too far into the costume area.
    Also, so think this one in particular is a very aging piece- especially with this hat combination. The 2018 heat wasn’t brilliant either but looked better with it.
    I think it’s a bit sad, that we see such a focus of the serious faced photos this year, while the ones when they are brightly smiling are tucked away into the galleries. Because Kate did smile and laugh quite a bit, but obviously the serious ones fit the speculation train around HMTQs health better.
    I do love that Kate has been on a bit of a repeat wave. Not always the pieces I would love to see again, but whatever. Her wardrobe is massive and she could probably wear 5 years of repeats easily without repeating the same piece in that period.
    C.

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    1. Kate has never exactly had subtle or nuanced style. It’s always a little costume-y or overly obvious.

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    2. I would say she has a definite style. Elegant, pretty and tasteful.

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    3. I would completely agree Natacha!

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  24. Dear Charlotte -- A beautiful post, as always. Thank you! Patricia, Minneapolis, MN USA

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  25. Very beautiful post Charlotte, thank you. As others feel, very somber and sad the HM was not able to be in attendance, but today the Duke of Wessex read a lovely message from Her Majesty about missing the Church of England's national assembly. It is quite obvious that her sense of duty is rooted deeply in her faith, and it's from her faith that she seems to draw her strength. Her words were very wise, gracious, and poignant....she is a leader for all times and England's true treasure. "None of us can slow the passage of time..."

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  26. A rare time that I don't like Catherine's hat and outfit combination, but she still looks beautiful. Sad that the queen wasn't able to attend, but undoubtedly she'll be slowing down more and more in the next few months. I'm really liking seeing Sophie at more engagements. I never knew much about Sophie before the last year or so, but she seems like another truly confident, genuinely kind woman.

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  27. I so look forward to reading your blog, but I hardly have the time to think through and write a comment. However, just needed to take a quick moment to say thank you for all the hard work put in to give a speedy and informative post.

    And while I’m at it, I also want to say that I love this outfit, white collar, wide-brimmed hat and all (Umm … maybe not the bun to the side). While I did like it when the DoC wore it in 2018, I still like this revamped look too.

    Also, for all the pictures I have seen of the Royal Family at Remembrance Sunday, they had always worn full-black. So I was pleasantly surprised to see the white and red in the DoC’s attire. The repeat lets me know that it is approved of 😊

    I am also appreciative of who the DoC is. In spite of all the challenges, pressure and criticism, she’s fitted into a role seamlessly, and has stood tall throughout.

    Wishing HM a speedy recovery and good health in the days ahead.

    Thank you again for your lovely work.

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    1. Thank you DP, I really appreciate it :)

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    2. What a lovely post, DP! Thanks and agreed!

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