King Charles III led the Remembrance Sunday service at London's Cenotaph for the first time as monarch to honor Britain's war dead and in a special year, marking the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War.
Thousands of medal-wearing veterans, military families and the public packed Whitehall in central London for the traditional ceremony and watched as the King laid a wreath at the memorial.
It followed a two-minute silence signaled by the first chimes of Big Ben striking 11am and a volley from a gun fired by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery at nearby Horse Guards Parade. The solemn moment of reflection ended with buglers from the Royal Marines playing the Last Post.
#RemembranceSunday in #Falklands provided us the opportunity to remember all those from all wars who never returned home, and those who suffer emotionally and physically as a result of conflict— Falkland Islands Gov (@FalklandsGov) November 13, 2022
We will remember them pic.twitter.com/gdWN9vlGRb
The head of the armed forces, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, told the London media there was a special poignancy to Remembrance Sunday this year following the Queen's death and against the backdrop of the Ukraine war. And it also marked the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War.
I think there's a special poignancy this year with both the loss of Her Majesty, another loss of a Second World War veteran, said Sir Radakin. (Queen Elizabeth as a teenager saw service as a military mechanic during WW2)
The King was joined at the Cenotaph by other members of the Royal Family, including the Prince of Wales, the Earl of Wessex, and the Princess Royal, who also laid floral tributes.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also honored the fallen on behalf of the British government by leaving a wreath, followed by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, other party leaders, senior members of the cabinet, military chiefs of staff and high commissioners.
Members of the Armed Forces joined HM The King and the Royal Family at the Cenotaph to pay tribute to all those who have lost their lives in conflict.— Ministry of Defence (@DefenceHQ) November 13, 2022
The Chief of the Defence Staff and the Service Chiefs laid wreaths on behalf of the Navy, Army and RAF.#LestWeForget pic.twitter.com/VOK3wNXooc
Also in attendance were seven former UK prime ministers - Sir John Major, Sir Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Liz Truss.
Watching from the balcony of a government building was the Queen Consort and the Princess of Wales.
Representatives from Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories also laid floral wreaths including the Falklands Government Representative in London, Richard Hyslop
A short service followed the laying of the main wreaths, with Bishop of London Dame Sarah Mullally leading a prayer.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon led tributes in Edinburgh while her government's veterans' minister, Keith Brown, travelled to the Falkland Islands to attend a remembrance event. The former Royal Marine served in the 1982 conflict.