Members of the royal family are attending Remembrance Day services this week in honor of those who lost their lives in war.

By Stephanie Petit /
November 07, 2019
Credit: Steve Parsons - PA Images / Contributor / Getty Images

After two years of solo appearances, Prince Harry was joined by his wife Meghan Markle at the Field of Remembrance service at Westminster Abbey on Thursday.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex took part in the annual event that is part of a series of ceremonies leading up to Remembrance Sunday, which will see the entire royal family step out for a poignant ceremony. The Field of Remembrance is a place where former service men and women, as well as members of the public, can plant a cross carrying a personal message in memory of those who have lost their lives in action.

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Meghan wrapped up in a midnight blue wrap coat from Sentaler’s Fall/Winter 2015 collection paired with a matching fascinator from her go-to milliner, Philip Treacy. She also wore the Remembrance Poppy — an artificial flower that has been used since 1921 to commemorate military members who have died in war. The poppy symbol is believed to have come from the poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae, a poem about World War I that includes a memorable line about fields of poppies. The royal family proudly wears their pins when they honor armed forces who sacrificed their lives. It is worn on the left to symbolize that those who died are close to your heart.

The royal couple had been scheduled to be joined by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, but she was forced to pull out because of a chest infection. A spokesperson at Camilla’s office at Clarence House said, “The Duchess of Cornwall has been told by her doctor to cancel her engagements owing to a chest infection which has got progressively worse over the last few days.”

Credit: Samir Hussein / Contributor / Getty Images
Credit: Samir Hussein / Contributor / Getty Images

When the Field of Remembrance service first took place in 1928, only two Remembrance Tribute Crosses were planted, now there are about 70,000 crosses produced by the Poppy Factory, of which Camilla is patron. The Field at Westminster Abbey stays open for 10 days.

During Thursday morning’s ceremony, Harry, who served two tours of Afghanistan during his 10 years in the Army, and Meghan placed their own crosses in the garden and the Last Post was sounded by a lone bugler. They then toured the field.

Credit: Mark Cuthbert / Contributor / Getty Images
Credit: Mark Cuthbert / Contributor / Getty Images

Harry first attended the ceremony seven years ago with his grandfather Prince Philip. After Philip, 98, gave up his public duties in the summer of 2017, Harry attended solo for the past two years.

There will be a number of public remembrances of fallen service members over the weekend, with the most poignant being that of the wreath laying at the Cenotaph in Whitehall on Sunday. Like the past two years, Prince Charles will be laying the wreath on behalf of his mother Queen Elizabeth, 93.

A source says Camilla was “deeply disappointed” to miss the occasion, which followed her cancellation of an appearance at a dinner on Wednesday night. She is “determined” to do all she can to be well enough to attend the events over the coming weekend.

This Story Originally Appeared On People