Remembrance Sunday: Royal Family lead tributes to nation’s war dead

The Queen and politicians are joining commemorations for those who lost their lives in conflict. …

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Media captionThe Queen watched the ceremony from a balcony alongside the Duchess of Cornwall, left, and the Duchess of Cambridge

Politicians, Royal Family members and veterans are commemorating those who lost their lives in conflict as the UK marks Remembrance Sunday.

At 11:00 GMT, a two-minute silence was held across the country.

Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson have broken away from the election campaign to attend the annual ceremony at the Cenotaph in London.

Prince Charles laid a wreath during the service on behalf of the Queen, who was watching from a balcony.

Also in attendance are the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The beginning and end of the two minutes’ silence were marked by the firing of a gun by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

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Image caption Veterans at the remembrance service at the Cenotaph
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Image caption Members of the armed forces during the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph memorial
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Image caption The Duchess of Sussex observed the two-minute silence from a balcony

The service at the Cenotaph honours the armed forces community, British and Commonwealth veterans, the allies who fought alongside the UK and the civilian servicemen and women involved in the two world wars and later conflicts.

Cabinet ministers, religious leaders and representatives of Commonwealth nations are attending alongside hundreds of members of the armed forces.

The Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex followed Prince Charles in laying wreaths.

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Image caption Prince Charles laid two wreaths – one of his own and one on behalf of The Queen
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Image caption Former Prime Ministers Theresa May, David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and Sir John Major attended the event
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Image caption Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid his wreath on the Cenotaph
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Image caption Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon laid a wreath at the Stone of Remembrance in Edinburgh

Several former prime ministers including Sir John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, and Theresa May, are also attending.

After wreaths were laid, Bishop of London Dame Sarah Mullally led a service that was due to end with the Royal Air Force sounding the bugle call, Rouse.

Following the service, up to 10,000 war veterans are marching in a slow procession past the war memorial.

World War Two veteran Ron Freer, 104, who is blind, is thought to be the oldest person marching at the Cenotaph this year.

The Remembrance Sunday commemorations always hold “special significance” for him because his father was killed in 1918 and is buried at Dernancourt Communal Cemetery in the Somme, France, according to Blind Veterans UK.

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Image caption Ron Freer from Kent was the oldest person marching at the Cenotaph

Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Mr Johnson said he would be “proud” to lay his first wreath at the Cenotaph as prime minister, and vowed to continue to “champion those who serve today with such bravery in our military”.

He said in a tweet he would be “thinking of the men and women who, over the centuries, have given so much to protect our country”.

Labour leader Mr Corbyn said in a video message: “We are all here today because we owe so much to those who came before. And today we remember them.”

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Image caption Jeremy Corbyn wrote a note on his wreath saying “let us strive for a world of peace”
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Image caption Carrie Symonds and Boris Johnson made the short journey from Downing Street to Whitehall

Many serving personnel, veterans and their families were “not getting the support they deserve”, he said.

And Liberal Democrat leader Ms Swinson said people should pause to reflect and remember how “fragile” peace can be.

The trio will be joined by the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford and the DUP’s Nigel Dodds.

Elsewhere, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon laid a wreath at the Stone of Remembrance at Edinburgh City Chambers before giving a reading at the service at St Giles’ Cathedral.

In Northern Ireland, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is due to attend a Remembrance Sunday service in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh.

Ceremonies are also taking place across Wales, including at the Welsh National War Memorial in Cardiff.

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Media captionRemembrance Day: D-Day veteran and schoolboy on what it means to them

This year marks 100 years since the first two-minute silence was observed to mark Armistice Day on 11 November 1919.

The ceremony at the Cenotaph comes after Prince Harry, Meghan, Prince William and Kate joined the Queen at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Saturday for the Festival of Remembrance.

It was their first appearance as a group since Harry and Meghan said they were struggling with public life.

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