The Unknown Warrior is the body of an unidentified British soldier who died in World War 1, who was buried at Westminster Abbey and who represents all the men whose bodies were never returned home. This year marked 100 years since the Unknown Warrior and the Cenotaph were unveiled on Armistice Day 1920. A beautiful remembrance service took place last week at the Abbey, when members of the Royal Family stood in remembrance of those who died in World War 1 and all other wars.
Kate ‒ along with other royal brides ‒ has a special connection to the tomb in that her bouquet was placed by the Unknown Warrior after her wedding.
This became a tradition for royal brides after the Queen Mother (then-Lady Elizabeth) married King George VI in 1923 made a very special gesture.
She paused on her way down the aisle to lay her bouquet on the grave of the Unknown Warrior in memory of her brother Fergus, who was killed in 1915 at the Battle of Loos.
Captain Fergus Bowes-Lyons was 11 years older than the Queen Mother and served in the Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland.
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Kate Middleton and the Unknown Warrior
The Queen Mother on her wedding day with George VI
She became the only royal bride to walk down the aisle without her bouquet.
The Queen Mother’s spontaneous act of remembrance created a tradition and ever since royal brides have had their bouquets laid there as a gesture of respect after their wedding.
The Queen laid down her bouquet at the Unknown Warrior after her wedding in 1947, as did Princess Anne in 1973, Sophie, Countess of Wessex in 1999 and then Kate, Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.
Kate set a precedent for the new generation of royal brides, so Meghan Markle, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie also did the same.
The Queen at the grave of the Unknown Warrior ahead of Remembrance Sunday
This year, the Queen visited the Unknown Warrior ahead of Remembrance Sunday and a bouquet of flowers featuring orchids and myrtle ‒ based on her wedding bouquet from 1947 ‒ was placed on the grave.
At this small ceremony, the Queen was pictured wearing a mask for the first time.
The mask was black, matching her entirely black outfit as a symbol of mourning.
She also attended a service at the Cenotaph, which she does every year.
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Prince Charles and Camilla in their commemorative masks
Meanwhile, the Duchess of Cornwall took on one of her most prominent roles ever in that she closed the ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
Camilla was sporting a beautiful poppy mask made especially for her by the Royal British Legion.
Prince Charles, who opened the ceremony, was wearing a mask made by one of his textile projects in Myanmar.
Across the pond, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle found a way to mark Remembrance Day themselves.
They released pictures of their “private” visit to a cemetery in Los Angeles.
The couple came under fire for what some viewed as attention-seeking, because they had invited a camera crew to photograph them.
Meanwhile others had sympathy for their gesture because the Duke of Sussex is a veteran himself.
Harry served in the Army for a decade and even went on two tours of active duty in Afghanistan.
It also emerged that Harry had requested to have a wreath laid on his behalf in London, but this was denied by Buckingham Palace.
Harry’s wreath, made at the Royal British Legion’s Kent headquarters for £1,000 lay forgotten because he is no longer a working member of the Royal Family.