Historically, the honour fell to the Duke of Edinburgh, but in recent years Prince Harry assumed the role.
Now the Duke of Sussex has relinquished his royal duties and moved to the US, Camilla who is already patron of The Poppy Factory in Richmond, Surrey, has taken the role.
Yesterday’s event, the 92nd year it has been held, was pared down – just a handful of people instead of the 1,200 veterans and their families that normally go.
Camilla was wearing a Rifles dress – she is Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment – with a military-style coat by Mr Roy, a Rifles hat and a regimental brooch.
She was met by the Dean of Westminster Abbey, The Very Reverend David Hoyle, and Defence Minister Ben Wallace before meeting Poppy Factory people.
She stood in front of crosses from the Graves of the Unknown as the Dean offered prayers, before solemnly laying her own cross and bowing her head.
A bugler played the Last Post, followed by a two-minute silence and then Exhortation to Remem-brance, as Big Ben chimed at 2pm.
Afterwards the duchess toured the 308 plots filled with more than 60,000 crosses and symbols of all faiths. Pausing at one she said: “It is such a shame there aren’t people here this year.”
The Poppy Factory employs wounded, injured and sick veterans.
Its president, Surgeon Rear Admiral Lionel Jarvis, said of the duchess’s involvement: “It was a lovely event and very poignant despite the lack of crowds.”
●The Queen was photographed leaving Windsor Castle yesterday while Prince Andrew too was spotted leaving his home on the royal estate.