THE Queen is seen wearing a mask for the first time at a “deeply personal” tribute ahead of Remembrance Sunday.
She bowed her head in silence at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior inside Westminster Abbey.
And to mark the centenary of the fallen soldier’s burial, a recreation of her bridal bouquet was placed on the grave — a tradition started by her mother in 1923.
The Queen, 94, requested Wednesday’s visit after being told she could not attend Armistice Day services this week because of coronavirus restrictions.
A planned re-enactment of the burial — led by her grandfather King George V in 1920 — was also shelved.
Her Majesty was joined only by equerry Lt-Col Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah of the Household Cavalry, an Afghan veteran.
Sources said it was a personal decision to wear a mask, believed to have been designed by her dressmaker Angela Kelly.
The Dean of Westminster Abbey, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, led prayers and a blessing, after which the Queen returned to Windsor Castle by car.
The full ceremony will be shown on BBC1 today ahead of the service from the Cenotaph — where the Queen is expected to lead the two-minute silence.
How to be a poppy star
THE pandemic may have stopped thousands of sellers from hitting the streets — but it doesn’t have to stop you from buying a poppy. MIKE RIDLEY looks at some of the ways you can do your bit for the appeal by going to:
- Fundraise for appeal: Move to Remember and the 11/11 Challenge are among the fundraising suggestions from the appeal itself. Free fundraising packs on the website will give the help and support you will need.
- Poppies in the post: Help make up for the reduced number of volunteer collectors by requesting 20 poppies free of charge from the RBL — and then giving them to friends and family yourself in return for a donation.
- My poppy run 2020: Run, walk or jog any distance, anywhere and at any time. Get family and friends involved to raise cash. And buy a T-shirt to run in and a medal to give to yourself afterwards!
- Visit the poppy shop: There is an extensive range of products from poppy pins and jewellery to clothing, stationery and homeware. All profits fund the Legion’s work in supporting the Armed Forces community.
- Make online donation: Alternatively, you could just visit the British Legion’s website and make a donation. You can choose a one-off payment or set up a regular amount — and no amount is too small.
…OR POP INTO YOUR LOCAL SAINSBURY’S, TESCO, ASDA, ALDI OR MORRISONS AND BUY A POPPY
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A source said: “The grave of the Unknown Warrior is as relevant and poignant today as it was when Her Majesty’s grandfather and father stood in the abbey at its side 100 years ago.
“The Queen was keen that the centenary was marked appropriately.
“A simple but deeply personal act reflecting a tradition started by her mother 97 years ago felt the right thing to do.”
The Sun on Sunday says
TODAY will be a Remembrance Sunday like no other.
Lockdown restrictions have played havoc with traditional ceremonies.
Even the Queen was forced to bring forward a 100th anniversary commemoration for the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey.
But never more have we needed to be reminded of her stoicism and the sacrifice made by the fallen.
Our debt to them will continue even when Covid is a distant memory.
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