Sombre Prince Charles lays wreath at Remembrance Sunday service at Cenotaph after Queen pulls out with back sprain

PRINCE Charles today led the nation in falling silent at a Remembrance Sunday service to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The royal laid a wreath at the Cenotaph after the Queen was forced to pull out due to a sprained back.

Her Majesty, 95, who has been resting for a month under doctor's orders, was said to be "deeply disappointed" to miss today's service.

Charles was flanked by Prince William and Princess Anne as he honoured Britain's war heroes.

Other members of the Royal Family including the Duchess of Cornwall and Kate Middleton.

Boris Johnson was joined by former Prime Ministers Theresa May, Gordon Brown and David Cameron laying wreaths today.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and London Mayor Sadiq Khan are also in attendance.

A two minute's silence was held to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for their country.

Hundreds of troops lined up around the Cenotaph and almost 10,000 veterans marched past the war memorial as the event returns to pre-Covid numbers.

Last year, the pandemic meant the number of veterans and military in attendance was limited and the ceremony closed to the public.

Instead the Royal British Legion asked Brits to display a poppy in their windows.

Ahead of the ceremony, the PM said: "Today we come together to remember those who sacrificed everything in service of our country, in the First World War and every conflict since, including recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"It's a sacred ceremony that has endured for more than a century because we know the unpayable debt we owe those brave servicemen and women.

"We know that for our tomorrow they gave their today. And we know that here at home and around the world, thousands of men and women in uniform still stand ready to defend our unity and our way of life, our values, and at a cost few among us would be willing to pay.

"Today we come together. We wear our poppies with pride and stand as a nation in two minutes of silent tribute.”

The Queen was recently advised to step back from official duties by medics after an overnight stay in hospital.

She missed the Festival of Remembrance last night but aides said it was her "firm intention" to attend today's service.

But Buckingham Palace confirmed she would have to pull out just hours before the event.


A statement said: "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.

"As in previous years, a wreath will be laid on Her Majesty's behalf by the Prince of Wales.

"His Royal Highness, along with the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, 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 will be present at the Cenotaph today as planned."

Her Majesty has missed the event just six times during her reign – either when pregnant or away on tour.

The monarch regards the poignant service as one of the most significant engagements of the year.

It is understood the sprain is recent and unrelated to her medics' advice to rest.

Sources say there were concerns over how a car journey to London and a period of standing could impact her injury.

One said it is "incredibly unfortunate timing and nobody regrets her absence today more deeply than her Majesty herself".

She will now remain at Windsor Castle and does not require hospital treatment.

It is understood she plans to continue with her schedule of light duties over the next week.

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