Do you notice a slight extra energy when the National Anthem is being sung? The National Anthem certainly seemed like it, from the point I was standing at Whitehall yesterday. Especially when we came to the line: “Long will reign over us”

The Queen has been to the Remembrance Sunday service at Cenotaph the most times of any person in history. It was her first wreath that she placed there as a princess 76 years back. It was clear that her intention to attend was not to be questioned. We had already been informed for days that this was her intention, but were finally told that she was going to cancel with just two hours remaining.

She would also be the first one to emphasize that Remembrance Sunday’s focus is on the deceased, and not the living. 

The Duchess of Cambridge was pictured in attendance at the Remembrance Sunday ceremony in London this morning

Pictured with the Duchess Of Cambridge at Remembrance Sunday in London, this morning 

Prince Charles lead the royal family at this year's Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, central London and laid a wreath on behalf of his mother the Queen after she was forced to miss the event due to a back injury

After his back injury, Prince Charles led the royal family to this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony at Whitehall’s Cenotaph. He laid a wreath for Queen Elizabeth after she had to cancel.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph

Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince William, Prince of Wales attend the Cenotaph service of Remembrance

It is also an occasion when all of the Forces families feel immense pride seeing their Commander-in-Chief lead the national commemorations.

We were briefed by Buckingham Palace yesterday at 9.18am. They said that Queen Elizabeth was disappointed not to be there but had made the regrettable decision of ‘having injured her back’.

Many people among the many thousands who watched the events had not been informed.

Just before 11am, the phones appeared above the crowd, looking like meerkats. They were ready to take pictures of the royal visit on the central Foreign Office balcony. The only people they could see were the Duke and Duchess of Kent (86), and Princess Alexandra (84). They all looked blank. 

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Britain's Princess Alexandra took the Queen's place on the central balcony in Whitehall

Prince Edward, Duke and Princess of Kent from Britain took Queen Elizabeth’s seat on Whitehall’s central balcony

The Queen would normally have appeared on the central balcony where the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra stood today. Members of the Royal Family (left to right) Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Countess of Wessex on the balconies

The Queen would usually have been seen on the central balcony from which Princess Alexandra and Prince Kent were standing today. The Royal Family: From the left, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence (the Duke and Duchess and Gloucester), Princess Alexandra, Prince Alexandra, Princess Alexandra.

Pictured: Prince Charles laid a wreath on behalf of the Queen at the Remembrance Sunday event as she was unable to attend

Pictured: The Queen was not able to attend Remembrance Sunday, so Prince Charles placed a wreath for her.

Pictured: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge lays a wreath as he attends the annual service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph

Pictured: Prince William Duke of Cambridge, lays a wreath at the Cenotaph’s annual Remembrance service

Pictured: Labour leader Keir Starmer, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Former Prime Ministers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron attend the annual National Service of Remembrance in Whitehall, central London this morning

Pictured: Labour leader Keir Sternmer, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Ex-Prime Ministers Tony Blair (Gordon Brown) and David Cameron at the Annual National Service of Remembrance, Whitehall, central London, this morning

The Duchess and Duchess Of Cornwall, Duchesss of Cambridge, and the Countess de Wessex sat on the balcony adjacent to each other. The Duke and Duchess Of Gloucester, Princess Anne’s husband and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence were located on the south side. Below, the Prince Of Wales lead the other members of the senior family on parade, except for the Sussex and York absentee Dukes.

The Head of Armed Forces was not present. This event has been missed by the Queen six times in her reign. Four times, the Queen was on a royal visit and attended an overseas service of remembrance (most recently Durban in 1999).

She was expecting Princes Andrew or Edward at the time of her other absences in 1959 and 1963. 

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, left, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, right, stand on the balcony of the Foreign Office during the Remembrance service where the Queen would have been standing if she had attended

Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall (left), Kate, Duchess and Duchesss of Cambridge, and Sophie, Countesss of Wessex (right) stand on the Foreign Office balcony during Remembrance Service. This is where Queen Elizabeth would be standing, had she been there

Pictured: a large crowd has gathered ahead of the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph, in Whitehall, London

Pictured: A large crowd gathers in advance of Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph (in Whitehall, London).

Pictured: the annual Remembrance Sunday service was held at the Cenotaph, in Whitehall, London, this morning

Pictured is the Remembrance Sunday Service held at Whitehall’s Cenotaph.

She attended both services at Windsor Great Park’s Royal Chapel of All Saints on each occasion.

Yesterday marked the first occasion she hadn’t left her home. An aide argued that she was as attentive to BBC coverage yesterday as she had been at the Royal Albert Hall’s Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance.

Her back doctor and doctors both told her it was not wise to drive 50-miles roundtrip in a car, plus spend half an hour standing. It was yet another reminder that the head of state is in her tenth year. You will need to continue taking sensible precautions.

Staff at the Palace pointed out that Queen Elizabeth II will resume ‘light duties” this week. This includes video audience with new ambassadors. Red boxes with state papers, briefing notes and other documents continue to move around. The plans for the Christmas broadcast are not changing (staff are finalising location details this week).

It was encouraging to hear that Prince Harry and Duchess Cornwall had arrived in the Middle East last night to mark the centenary celebrations for Jordan.

It meant, however, that yesterday’s wartime generation wasn’t led by the monarch, but rather by a few sprightly gentlemen who, like everybody else, were delighted to see Whitehall again full after two years.

The oldest of them was Tim Farmiloe (98), formerly of Coastal Command, and a proud member the Goldfish Club, which honors those who parachuted into the water from aircrafts.

Frank Baugh (97), a former Royal Navy Signalman from Doncaster, is also present. “I have never seen a parade like it.” It was just amazing,’ stated Mr Baugh. His landing craft, which carried 200 soldiers of King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, arrived on Sword Beach in Normandy at dawn. 

Pictured: Members of the public attend the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph, in Whitehall, London

Pictured: Remembrance Sunday Service at Cenotaph in Whitehall.

Wreaths of poppies were laid at the foot of the Cenotaph in London today as the country marked Remembrance Sunday

Today, as Remembrance Sunday was observed in the UK, poppies were placed at the Cenotaph’s foot.

Buckingham Palace said the Queen was forced to miss the Remembrance service due to a back injury. Pictured last year

Buckingham Palace claimed that Queen Elizabeth II was forced from the Remembrance service because she had a back injury. Last year

Two direct hits were taken by them, and they were left on the beaches for 4 hours to repair the damage with welding equipment under fire from the enemy. He witnessed horrific injuries from the first trip, and he went on to return on more trips in 1944 than he could count.

‘These poor lads were crying out ‘Give us something, Jack’ – the soldiers called us all ‘Jack’ – and luckily we had these ampoules of morphine. “You don’t realize how white the bones of men until you have seen them,” he said. He was so determined to get there yesterday.

Many organisations were honored with big milestones this year, including the War Widows Association which marks its 50th anniversary. ‘It’s difficult to explain just how incredible it is to be at your central national monument with 10,000 veterans,’ said Mary Moreland 64. Her husband, the Ulster Defence Regiment reservist, Private John Moreland was assassinated by the IRA for his coal around nine days prior to Christmas 1988.

Her two children were at school meeting Father Christmas before she could break the news – ‘probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do in my life’.

An unwavering champion for widows rights, she currently fights against the ridiculous rule that thousands of war widows married again cannot retain their pension as war widows.

Yesterday’s march saw the debut of Fighting With Pride and the Casevac Club, which are the first organizations for LGBT+ veterans.

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex lays a wreath at The Cenotaph during the Remembrance Sunday ceremony

Princess Anne, Princess Royal lays a wreath at The Cenotaph during the Remembrance Sunday ceremony

Pictured: Prince Edward (left) and Princess Anne (right) laid wreaths at Cenotaph during the Remembrance Sunday ceremony

Pictured: Crowds gather ahead of the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph, in Whitehall, London, this morning

Pictured: A crowd gathers in front of Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph (in Whitehall, London) this morning

Former Prime Minister David Cameron in Downing Street, ahead of the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph, in Whitehall

Former Prime Minister Theresa May in Downing Street, ahead of the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph, in Whitehall

David Cameron, former prime ministers and Theresa May were photographed at this morning’s Remembrance event

Former prime minister Tony Blair (centre) and Nadhim Zahawi (right) pictured ahead of the Remembrance Sunday event

Tony Blair, ex-prime minister and Nadhim Zihawi are pictured in front of Remembrance Sunday.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer stood beside the Prime Minister while former prime ministers lined up behind Mr Johnson, with John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May all paying their respects

Labour leader Sir Keir starmer stood next to the Prime Minister. Former prime ministers lined-up behind Johnson with John Major and Tony Blair, Gordon Brown as well as David Cameron, David Cameron, David Cameron, and Theresa May paying their respects.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer stood side-by-side as they waited to lay their wreaths at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, on Sunday

While they waited to place their wreaths on the Cenotaph at Whitehall in London, London, Sunday, Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, and Sir Keir starmer, opposition leader, stood side-by-side.

This was established in 2017 to assist those who were so severely wounded in Afghanistan or Iraq that they needed ‘casualty evacuation.

The Legion placed them right in front of MERT Club. They were former members of medical emergency response teams, who had to fly in and rescue the severely injured.

Former Flight Lieutenant Nigel Thorpe (49), who has served 26 years with the RAF was delighted to receive an invitation for yesterday’s parade. He ‘grabbed it both hands’. His toughest mission in MERT was the rescue of several US Rangers who were badly injured during his four-year service with Chinook helicopters. He recalled that although they were only on the ground for 4 minutes, it was almost four hours before they began firing at them.

It was not just the absence of the monarch that underlined the feeling of time passing.

It was the sight of 45 children dressed in yellow-and-black scarves by Scotty’s Little Soldiers (a charity that supports bereaved military children).

The youngest on parade were two eight-year-olds – Evie Hebden, marching in memory of father Marine Ralph Hebden, who died in 2013, and Jacob Stokoe, whose father, Sapper Alan Stokoe, died in 2019. One veteran of another group felt so moved by this small, impressive gang that he gave his blue beret and wore it proudly for the remainder of the day.

After her 26-year-old husband, Corporal Lee Scott of Royal Tank Regiment died in Afghanistan, Nikki Scott (44) set up this charity. His regimental colors were yellow and black.

Scotty’s Little Soldiers currently helps over 500 children. This includes Mrs Scott’s two. Brooke Scott was 11 months old at the time her father passed away. While Brooke was at parade yesterday with her mother carrying the charity’s, Kai (17), preferred to pay tribute near his home in Wisbech (Cambridgeshire)

Mrs Scott said, “I started the charity to make people smile again.” “Today is a great day for people who’ve been through this. This opens doors to conversations.

They marched together and then went on to the Tower of London with Richard Jones (their patron), a soldier-magician who won Britain’s Got Talent. Richard Jones is proud to be a Lance Corporal of Horse within the Household Cavalry.

We have 45 new reminders to remind you why the remembrance enterprise is so important. The Queen is determined to take her rightful place next year.