Queen 'utterly determined' to attend Remembrance Sunday
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Today the UK holds Armistice Day to remember those who lost their lives in World War 1. The annual commemoration is observed on November 11 at 11am each year to mark the end of the war in 1918. The time and date symbolise the end of the conflict between Germany and Britain and its allies “on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month”. Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, 74, is today attending Westminster Abbey to take part in the two-minute silence to honour the war dead.
In a few days’ time the UK will come together again for Remembrance Sunday, with services to remember those killed in different conflicts to be held across the country.
Queen Elizabeth II, 95, is due to attend the wreath-laying service at the Cenotaph in Whitehall on Sunday, despite recent concerns for her health.
Britain’s longest-serving monarch was advised to rest for two weeks last month after she was admitted to hospital overnight for medical checks.
The tests – which were not related to COVID-19 – came as the Queen was forced to wipe all official engagements from her diary.
She cancelled her planned visit to Northern Ireland and her appearance at the ongoing COP26 UN summit on climate change.
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On Tuesday, Her Majesty returned to Windsor Castle from her Sandringham estate where she had been having a weekend away.
Buckingham Palace said it was her “firm intention” to attend the wreath-laying service on Sunday.
At the service in 2017 the Queen could be seen in tears on a balcony of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as she watched her son Prince Charles lay a wreath at the Cenotaph, unearthed pictures show.
Her rare show of emotion came as she broke with royal tradition at the ceremony as it was the first time she had not laid a wreath herself while being present at the event.
It was also the Queen’s first time watching proceedings from a balcony, where she was flanked by Prince Philip, who died in April, and Camilla.
The royals watched on as political leaders came to pay their respects, including then-Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader at the time, Jeremy Corbyn.
Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex and the Queen’s cousin Princess Alexandra also watched on from another balcony.
Prince Charles previously laid a wreath for the Queen in 1983 when she was on an overseas visit.
He also carried out the duty in 1999 when the Queen was in South Africa, where she laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in Durban.
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She is only thought to have missed the ceremony six times in history – including during her pregnancies.
The Daily Mirror’s royal editor Russell Myers told royal podcast ‘Pod Save The Queen’ that Her Majesty is determined to attend Sunday’s ceremony.
He said: “There’s not many dates cemented in the diary, sometimes it’s a bit movable, but that is certainly one of them.
“I think she’s only missed it six times ‒ four of those were because she was on royal tours, and twice she was pregnant.”
He added: “That just tells you, out of 70 years on the throne, if you’ve only missed it six times, that is less than a handful.
“I think she will be there next Sunday.”
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