Charles III presides over the first Sunday of Remembrance as king

Charles III presides over the first Sunday of Remembrance as king


Charles III will attend his first Remembrance Sunday event as king, laying a wreath in honor of the UK and Commonwealth war dead, while the new British Prime Minister also pays tribute to Ukraine’s defenders.

The 73-year-old monarch had previously represented his mother Queen Elizabeth II, who died in September aged 96 after a year of ill health.

Since 2017, she had watched the annual service from a balcony of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) overlooking the cenotaph.

Last year, a back problem forced her to miss the ceremony in central London, just weeks after an unscheduled overnight stay in hospital.

Charles, who served in the Royal Navy in the 1970s, laid a wreath on her behalf.

Now King and Commander-in-Chief of the British Armed Forces, he will lay his first wreath at the war memorial as reigning monarch.

The ring of red artificial poppies – Britain’s symbol of remembrance – is mounted on black leaves, with a band in the king’s scarlet, violet and gold horse racing colours.

Buckingham Palace said it was the first time a similar wreath was being laid on behalf of his wife, Queen Consort Camilla.

Camilla, 75, will be watching the event from the FCDO balcony.

Two minutes of silence mark the beginning of the sombre homage. It begins at 1100 GMT with the distinctive chimes of Big Ben returning to regular service after a five year refurbishment.

New Conservative leader Rishi Sunak will attend his first Remembrance Sunday as prime minister.

“This year, more than ever, we are reminded of the great gratitude we owe to those who sacrifice their lives to protect their country,” Sunak said in a statement.

“As we hush together on Memorial Sunday, we will honor the memories of the men and women we lost and pay tribute to the brave soldiers of Ukraine as they continue their fight for freedom.”

Remembrance Sunday is the culmination of days of events to commemorate all those who lost their lives in conflict.

On Thursday, Camilla laid a cross at the Field of Remembrance outside London’s Westminster Abbey, along with 70,000 other symbols left by military associations and a room dedicated to the late Queen.

A service was held at the National Memorial Arboretum in central England on Friday – Armistice Day, which marks the end of World War I hostilities.

The King, Queen and senior family members attended an annual concert organized by the Royal British Legion’s veterans’ organization on Saturday.

Around 10,000 veterans will march past the cenotaph on Sunday, including 400 who fought in the Falklands War 40 years ago.

Other royals expected on Sunday include Charles’ eldest son and heir, Prince William, and William’s wife Kate.

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