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The Duke of Edinburgh

An equerry lays a wreath on behalf of Prince Philip at the Cenotaph

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 97-year-old Prince was absent from this year’s Armistice Day commemorations, so instead had a wreath placed in lieu.

Captain Catherine Coulthard of the Intelligence Corps was tasked with the honour as she placed the wreath at the base of the Cenotaph before saluting the monument.

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 were put in place at 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 and only makes very rare public appearances.

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, the Duke of Sussex, the Duke of York, the Princess Royal, the Earl of Wessex, the Duke of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent.

The Queen watched from the Foreign Office balcony alongside the Duchess of Cornwall and Duchess of Cambridge.

Meanwhile, the Duchess of Sussex made her debut appearance a the annual Armistice commemorations alongside the German First Lady.