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An Equerry is tasked with laying a wreath at the Cenotaph on behalf of Prince Philip

An Equerry was tasked with the honour of laying a wreath on behalf of the Duke of Edinburgh at the Cenotaph on Sunday during the remembrance commemorations.

The 96-year-old Prince decided to stay with his wife, The Queen, on the balcony of the Foreign Office this year, so did not lay a wreath in person.

Prince Philip has laid a wreath at the base of the cenotaph during most years, however, due to his and The Queen’s advancing ages, changes had been put in place for the 2017 ceremony.

Instead of laying a wreath in person, Prince Charles laid a wreath on behalf of his mother and the Equerry on behalf of the Duke.

This is partly down to the safety and comfort of both The Queen and Prince Philip. Every year after laying their wreaths, Her Majesty and Prince Philip walked down the Cenotaph steps backwards – something which is customary for the royals so they are not seen to turn their backs on the war dead.

Older royals are excused from the practice of walking down the steps backwards at their own discretion, however, it was something both The Queen and Prince Philip were keen to do.

Additionally, Prince Philip retired from royal duties earlier this year. The Remembrance Sunday commemorations are one of the rare occurrences where he makes an appearance.

Thousands of people gathered at the Cenotaph for a two-minute silence at 11 o’clock to honour those killed in wars and conflicts past and present.

Alongside Prince Charles, also laying wreaths were the Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the Duke of York, the Princess Royal, the Earl of Wessex and the Duke of Kent.

The Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Countess of Wessex and Princess Alexandra watched from a balcony in Whitehall alongside The Queen and Prince Philip.

The Earl of Wessex was the member of The Royal Family who took the salute this year at Horseguards as the march past took place. Last year, the responsibility fell to Prince Charles.

 

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