Nation to fall silent for Remembrance Sunday tribute

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The nation will pay silent respect to the country's war dead today in a Remembrance Sunday service led by the Prince of Wales.

The Queen has asked Charles to lay her wreath at the Cenotaph, in what is believed to be the first time the monarch has broken with tradition and not performed the symbolic duty when at the Whitehall service.

A two-minute silence will take place at 11am and wreaths will be laid at the foot of the Whitehall memorial.

The Queen with the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince of Wales
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will observe the service from a balcony (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will observe the service from a balcony, while senior members of the royal family and political leaders lay wreaths.

The Cenotaph ceremony is a poignant and significant event in the life of the nation which normally involves the Queen leading the country in remembering those who have died in world wars and other conflicts, so Charles' role in laying the wreath will be a significant moment.

Buckingham Palace announced the change last month, which is seen as an example of the subtle shift of head of state duties from the Queen to the heir to the throne.

Earlier this year, Philip, 96, retired from his solo public duties, but on occasion has joined the Queen at her official engagements.

Philip's equerry will lay his wreath, Buckingham Palace has said, while Charles will also lay his own wreath.

Charles has laid a wreath before on behalf of the Queen, in 1983 when she was out of the country, and when the Queen was in South Africa in 1999 she laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in Durban.

The Queen is expected to be joined by other royal women such as the Duchess of Cambridge, Duchess of Cornwall and the Countess of Wessex, in observing the service.

On Saturday night, the Queen and senior royals joined servicemen and women past and present at the annual Festival of Remembrance as the nation remembered its war dead on Armistice Day.

The monarch was joined at the Royal Albert Hall in London by thousands of veterans for the 90th anniversary of the event, organised by the Royal British Legion, of which she is patron.

Among the acts performing were singers Mel C, Emeli Sande, Tom Odell, Lesley Garrett and Alfie Boe, alongside hymns, prayers and readings.