Millions pay their respects with silence for fallen soldiers

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Millions of people around the country fell silent this morning as a mark of respect to those who died in conflicts.

It is 100 years since the first two-minute silence was observed on Armistice Day on 11 November 1919.

The largest service on Remembrance Sunday took place on Whitehall in central London where thousands of armed forces personnel and veterans congregated.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 12: Queen Elizabeth II during the annual Remembrance Sunday memorial on November 12, 2017 in London, England. The Prince of Wales, senior politicians, including the British Prime Minister and representatives from the armed forces pay tribute to those who have suffered or died at war. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Image: The Queen was dressed in black
Prince Charles lays a wreath at the Cenotaph
Image: Prince Charles laid a wreath at the Cenotaph, on behalf of Her Majesty

The Royal Family led the tributes with Prince Charles laying a wreath at the Cenotaph, on behalf of his mother, the Queen.

The monarch, who was dressed in black, appeared to wipe away a tear as she watched the ceremony from a nearby balcony.

Princes William, Harry, Andrew and Edward along with Princess Anne also laid wreaths at the base of the memorial.

Kate and Camilla accompanied the Queen, while Meghan was on a separate balcony with Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and Anne’s husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn stood side by side during the commemorative proceedings.

Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph
Image: The Cenotaph was the focal point for the ceremony
Veterans line Whitehall on Remembrance Sunday
Image: Many veterans lined Whitehall on Remembrance Sunday

The pair were joined in laying wreaths by Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford, the DUP’s Westminster leader Nigel Dodds and newly-elected Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

Veterans during the Remembrance Sunday events
Remembrance Sunday: Nation honours the fallen

An equerry laid a wreath on behalf of Prince Philip who was not present at the ceremony for the second year in a row after having retired from royal duties in 2017.

The Queen appears to be teary-eyed at The Cenotaph
Image: The monarch was not joined by Prince Philip who retired from royal duties in 2017

As Big Ben struck 11am, the two-minute silence was observed by thousands of poppy-wearers on Whitehall.

Veterans attend the annual Remembrance Sunday memorial at The Cenotaph
Image: Veterans attended the ceremony at the Cenotaph

The firing of a gun by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, on Horse Guards Parade, marked the start and end of the period of reflection to remember those killed in conflicts past and present.

Over the White Cliffs of Dover, 750,000 bio-degradable poppies were released by a World War Two Dakota plane, flanked by two Spitfires, that flew 500ft (150 metres) above the Kent coastline.

People on social media have been paying tribute to their loved ones who served the country.

Former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron tweeted a photo of his uncle Maurice and his grandmother, with the message: “Marking the silence in Kendal and Grange today, my thoughts go to my Uncle Maurice, shot down and killed in 1940 aged just 19.

“His big sister, my Grandma pictured with him, remained heartbroken. We honour those who serve, never forgetting how much it cost them and their families.”

Another Twitter user, Geraldine Marshall, posted a photo of her grandfather. She wrote: “Remembering my Grandpa today. He served on HMS Theseus in WW1 as a stoker. Age 20 in these pictures taken shortly after the Armistice. Serving in the navy allowed him to escape a lifetime of working in the South Wales coal pits.”

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn at Remembrance Sunday commemorations
Image: Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn were among the political leaders at the Whitehall gathering
Nicola Sturgeon
Image: Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon laid a wreath in Edinburgh

Following the London ceremony, thousands of veterans and servicemen and women marched past the Cenotaph to honour the fallen.

London black cabs took veterans from train stations in the capital to Whitehall for free as a mark of thanks for their service, in what is a decade-long tradition.

The Queen with Kate and Camilla
Image: The Queen was accompanied on a balcony by Camilla and Kate
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, at The Cenotaph
Image: Meghan was on another balcony during the service

Ceremonies also took place in towns and cities across the UK, including Edinburgh, Cardiff, Wigan, and Enniskillen, where 12 people were killed in an IRA poppy day blast in Northern Ireland in November 1987.

Remembrance Sunday: Millions pay their respects with silence for fallen soldiers

Millions of people around the country fell silent this morning as a mark of respect to those who died in conflicts. It is 100 years since the first two-minute silence was observed on Armistice Day on 11 November 1919. The largest service on Remembrance Sunday took place on Whitehall in central London where thousands of armed forces personnel and veterans congregated.

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