Duchess of Cambridge to attend Festival of Remembrance

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The Duke of Edinburgh and the Duchess of Cambridge will be among the royals attending the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance this weekend.

Philip, who officially retired from public duties in the summer at the age of 96, will join the Queen in the royal box at the Royal Albert Hall for the traditional annual event on Saturday November 11.

Pregnant Kate, who is expecting her third child and has been suffering for severe morning sickness known as hyperemesis gravidarum, will also be there, along with, among others, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke of York, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and the Princess Royal.

(Victoria Jones/PA)
(Victoria Jones/PA)

The festival, which pays tribute to those who died while serving their country, this year falls on Armistice Day.

It will mark the centenaries of women's service in the regular Armed Forces, the Battle of Passchendaele and the creation of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and the 100th birthday of Forces' sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn.

It will also commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein and the creation of the RAF Regiment.

Each year, thousands of poppies flutter to the ground from the hall's domed roof as the audience observes a two-minute silence.

(Anthony Devlin/PA)
(Anthony Devlin/PA)

Philip, who has been enjoying his retirement out of the limelight, will also be at the Remembrance Sunday service in central London the next day to watch from a balcony with the Queen as the Prince of Wales lays a wreath on her behalf at the Cenotaph.

Charles will lead the nation in honouring the country's war dead in what is believed to be the first time the Queen has broken with tradition and not performed the symbolic duty when at the Whitehall service.

The change is seen as an example of the subtle shift of head of state duties from the 91-year-old sovereign to the heir to the throne.