Prince of Wales and Prime Minister join crowd at Festival of Remembrance

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The Prince of Wales and the Prime Minister have joined a crowd of thousands to pay tribute to all those who lost their lives in conflicts at the annual Festival of Remembrance.

Alongside Charles in the royal box at the Royal Albert Hall were senior royals including the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Saturday’s event was also attended by the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, and Princess Alexandra.

All were dressed in dark clothing as they watched from the box, clapping and giving standing ovations throughout the service.

Boris Johnson sat in a box on the left hand side of the royals, while Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer sat in a box on the right.

This year’s event commemorated 100 years of the Royal British Legion.

It also marked the 30th anniversary of the first Gulf War and the 10th anniversary of the end of military operations in Iraq.

In a break with previous years, the Queen was not in attendance.

The 95-year-old monarch was ordered to rest by royal doctors just over three weeks ago, and spent a night in hospital on October 20 undergoing preliminary tests.

She returned to Windsor Castle on Tuesday after a long-planned weekend away at her Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

However, she is expected to attend the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.

The Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance
Prime Minister Boris Johnson sits in his box (Geoff Pugh/The Daily Telegraph)

The Royal Marines fanfare team opened the Festival of Remembrance.

They were then followed by Royal British Legion members carrying blue and gold standards.

The blue indicates loyalty and fidelity and the gold represents trial by fire.

Poet Tomos Roberts gave an emotional rendition of his specially commissioned piece Alive with Poppies.

After the poem finished, the audience lifted their wristbands – which glowed red.

Attendees could be seen wiping away tears as a video showed Sallie and David Wright telling the story of their son James – who was killed in Afghanistan 10 years ago.

The Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall arrive for the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance (Geoff Pugh/The Daily Telegraph)

Sixteen bereaved families then entered the hall to a standing ovation.

Later, a video showing servicemen and women discussing the British evacuation of Afghanistan was played.

The mood fell sombre when The Last Post rang out in the theatre, and during the minutes of silence poppy petals drifted from the ceiling.

The service concluded with traditional prayers, hymns and blessings before an enthusiastic rendition of God Save The Queen.

Charles waved to the crowd before leaving.

Musical performances were led by Alfie Boe, Gregory Porter, Cynthia Erico, and Alexandra Burke.

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