On Sunday, the British royals gathered in London for the annual National Service Of Remembrance at the Cenotaph. For such a solemn moment of remembrance, military badges and pearls were naturally the royal accessories of choice.
The royal contingent included both those participating in the service at the Cenotaph and those watching from balconies above. The Queen was due to attend, watching from a balcony as she has done for the past few years, but Buckingham Palace announced shortly before the service that she would not be present. The Palace stated: “The Queen, having sprained her back, has decided this morning with great regret that she will not be able to attend today’s Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph. Her Majesty is disappointed that she will miss the service.” News reports stated that the back sprain is unrelated to her recent health challenges, which have included a brief hospital stay and a reduced, light schedule of duties.
With the Queen undoubtedly watching on television from home, the Prince of Wales led the tributes at the Cenotaph. Sunday was also Charles’s 73rd birthday. Clarence House released a new portrait of the prince to mark the occasion.
The Duke of Cambridge laid a wreath at the Cenotaph during the service.
So did the Princess Royal, who joined her brothers and her nephew in uniform for the commemoration.
The Earl of Wessex, shown here saluting the Cenotaph, laid a wreath as well.
The Duke of Kent, who is the Queen’s first cousin, usually participates in the ceremony, but this year, he watched from a balcony above the memorial. The Duke, who is 86, suffered a stroke in 2013, and he has also had mobility issues and problems with his hips. As the ceremony includes a great deal of standing, as well as walking backward after laying a wreath, it has often been challenging for the oldest members of the family.
Also watching from a balcony were the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duchess of Cambridge, and the Countess of Wessex.
Camilla often pays tribute to the memory of her late father, Major Bruce Shand, by wearing the cap badge of his regiment, the Lancers. She used the badge to secure her paper poppies this year. She also wore her favorite pearl drop earrings and her pearl choker necklace with the large diamond clasp.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore the Collingwood Pearl Earrings, a legacy from Diana, Princess of Wales, for the service. She also wore the earrings for the Festival of Remembrance the night before. With her paper poppies, she wore a crystal poppy pin, part of a range sold by the Royal British Legion (the same organization that produces and sells the paper poppies).
The Countess of Wessex wore a pair of modern scroll earrings on the balcony, as well as a pair of pins. Like Kate, she wore a crystal poppy pin from the RBL. On her collar, she pinned the cap badge of The Rifles. Sophie is the Royal Colonel of the regiment’s 5th Battalion.
Sir Tim Laurence and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester watched the service from an adjacent balcony. Birgitte wore her rock crystal circle brooches with her poppy. (Here’s a better view of her jewels.)
Princess Alexandra also joined her brother, the Duke of Kent, on a balcony to watch the service. She wore a large paper poppy, anchored by her diamond clematis brooch. She completed her ensemble with her classic diamond and pearl cluster earrings. She wore both the brooch and the earrings the previous evening for the Festival of Remembrance as well.