HRH The Duchess of Cornwall honours war dead

Thursday, 11th November 2021

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall honours war dead

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall opened the 93rd Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey on Thursday 11th November 2021.

The annual event, which marks the start of the nation’s Remembrance commemorations, has been held every year since 1928, when The Poppy Factory brought a tray of poppies and a collecting tin to the grounds of St Margaret's Church. Only a handful of poppies were planted around a single cross, but it began a tradition that has grown over the decades, and now a sea of scarlet poppies covers the Abbey grounds each November.

In his welcome to this year’s event, the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, said:

‘For the 93rd time at the Field of Remembrance we meet again to remember those who gave their lives in the conflicts of our time, that we might enjoy freedom and peace.
At the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month of 1918, the First World War ended: that date, that time, have become a symbolic moment on which to pause in silent remembrance and gratitude. With full hearts at this, our Field of Remembrance, let us pray for the peace of the whole world.’

Surgeon Rear Admiral Lionel Jarvis, President of the Poppy Factory, invited The Duchess of Cornwall to lay a cross of remembrance in front of two wooden crosses from the Graves of Unknown British Soldiers from the First and Second World Wars.

Last Post was sounded from the parapet of St Margaret's Church by a bandsman from the Scots Guards.

After the observance of two minutes’ silence, The Duchess of Cornwall toured the Field meeting veterans, representatives of military organisations and members of the public who had planted tributes in memory of their fallen comrades and loved ones.

In a nod to a tradition set by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh on occasions when the opening of the Field of Remembrance fell on Armistice Day, The Duchess of Cornwall then visited the Grave of the Unknown Warrior inside the Abbey, where she laid flowers in remembrance.

Visiting the Field of Remembrance

The Field of Remembrance will remain open until Sunday 21st November, and members of the public are invited to visit and to plant their own tributes. All donations from visitors will be given to the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal.