Britain's Queen Elizabeth leads silent tribute to war dead

8th November 2015, Comments 0 comments

Queen Elizabeth II led millions of Britons as they fell silent to honour members of the Commonwealth's armed forces killed in conflict at the annual Remembrance Sunday service.

The 89-year-old monarch, senior royals and politicians including Prime Minister David Cameron laid wreaths at the Cenotaph national war memorial in London, as thousands of military veterans looked on.

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands laid a wreath to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands after the end of World War II.

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also laid a floral tribute. The long-time pacifist wore a poppy, and sang the national anthem, having previously been criticised for remaining silent during its playing.

The centrepiece of Sunday's event was the two minute's silence at 1100 GMT, observed by millions of people across Britain and marked in London by the firing of an artillery gun.

Thousands of veterans earlier marched past the Cenotaph, Britain's primary war memorial.

Later Sunday, a projection of giant falling poppies -- the flower that has symbolised the nation's war dead since World War I -- will be projected onto the Houses od Parliament.

Remembrance Sunday is the Sunday nearest to Armistice Day on November 11, the anniversary of the 1918 signing of the peace that ended fighting in World War I.

More than one million people from the British empire died in the four-year conflict, but the day has become a time to remember all the troops killed in wars since then.

It is thought there has been only one year -- 1968 -- without a British military fatality on active service since the end of World War II in 1945.


© 2015 AFP

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