At the last resting place of the warrior inside the Abbey, she laid a bouquet which featured red roses and sprigs of rosemary, symbolic of remembrance, as the opening of the field fell on Armistice Day – November 11 – when the First World War ended.
Former sailors, soldiers, airmen and marines fell silent for two minutes at 11am after the Last Post was sounded by a bugler.
Camilla then toured hundreds of plots in the grounds of the Abbey where regiments, military associations and other organisations had laid out tiny crosses in memory of the fallen.
Arthur Barty, the Queen Mother’s driver for 27 years until her death in 2002, was among the veterans and representing a plot for his former unit the Black Watch.
He said: “It’s vital we keep this tradition alive of commemorating the fallen. I came here on Tuesday to make sure everything was in order and our plot looks immaculate.”
Chelsea pensioners were dotted around the site with their scarlet coats and Camilla stopped to talk to a few, including Peter Fullelove, a former Black Watch private.
The 88-year-old joked: “I asked the duchess if she stopped because she liked the colour of my coat and she said she did.”
Greg Hedges, 56, representing the Staffordshire Regiment Association, chatted to Camilla as she stroked the organisation’s mascot Corporal Watchman VI, a three-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier.
The former Warrant Officer 2nd Class, who served with the Staffordshire Regiment, said: “She was having a chat to our mascot, they’ve met before and she’s a fan.
“We’ve got people from all over the country who have travelled to be here and it’s important to have that representation and to remember those who have died.”
The Field of Remembrance, organised by the Poppy Factory, has been held in the grounds of Westminster Abbey since November 1928 to commemorate those who have lost their lives in the Armed Forces.
At first, only a handful of poppies were planted around a single cross when the Poppy Factory’s founder, Major George Howson, took a group of wounded veterans, a tray of poppies and a collecting tin to the grounds of St Margaret’s Church near the Abbey.
But now tens of thousands of poppies on wooden symbols and tributes are planted every year.
Alice Wingate Pearce, granddaughter of Major General Orde Wingate – the famous leader of the Chindits, a Second World War guerrilla brigade of Gurkha, Burmese and British troops – was proudly wearing his medals, which caught the duchess’s eye.
She said: “It’s a great honour to be here, I haven’t done this before, I explained my grandfather’s medals to the duchess and she said ‘wonderful’.”