PICS: Queen, 94, Leaves Isolation to Lay Flowers at Tomb of the Unknown Warrior

Queen
Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II left isolation to lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, as Britain attempts to commemorate the fallen despite the coronavirus lockdown.

Britain’s 94-year-old monarch, the only European head of state to have seen some service in the Second World War, training as a driver and mechanic in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, has been following government instructions to “shield” since it began regulating against the pandemic, making few public appearances — but was unwilling to sit out the country’s annual commemorations for “the glorious dead”.

The sombre flower-laying ceremony in Westminster Abbey marked 100 years since the Unknown Warrior was laid to rest.

Equerry Lieutenant Colonel Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah, Queen Elizabeth II and the Dean of Westminster Abbey David Hoyle during a ceremony in Westminster Abbey to mark the centenary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior on November 4, 2020. The grave of the Unknown Warrior is the final resting place of an unidentified British serviceman who died on the battlefields during the First World War and whose body was brought from Northern France and buried at Westminster Abbey on 11th November 1920. (Photo by Aaron Chown – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

 

Queen Elizabeth II and Dean Of Westminster Abbey David Hoyle during a ceremony in Westminster Abbey to mark the centenary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior on November 4, 2020. The grave of the Unknown Warrior is the final resting place of an unidentified British serviceman who died on the battlefields during the First World War and whose body was brought from Northern France and buried at Westminster Abbey on 11th November 1920. (Photo by Aaron Chown – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Unknown Warrior is a fallen soldier “Unknown by name or rank, brought from France to lie among the most illustrious of the land” following the First World War, as a focal point for the many grieving families denied the chance to lay their loved ones to rest.

“Thus are commemorated the many multitudes who during the Great War of 1914–1918 gave the most that man can give, life itself, for God, for King, and Country, for loved ones, home, and empire, for the sacred cause of justice and the freedom of the world,” his tombstone reads.

“They buried him among the kings because he had done good toward God and toward his house.”

The Queen’s Equerry, Lieutenant Colonel Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah, places a bouquet of flowers at the grave of the Unknown Warrior on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II (centre) during a ceremony in Westminster Abbey to mark the centenary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior on November 4, 2020. The grave of the Unknown Warrior is the final resting place of an unidentified British serviceman who died on the battlefields during the First World War and whose body was brought from Northern France and buried at Westminster Abbey on 11th November 1920. (Photo by Aaron Chown – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

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Queen Elizabeth II inspects a bouquet of flowers placed on her behalf at the grave of the Unknown Warrior by her Equerry, Lieutenant Colonel Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah, during a ceremony in Westminster Abbey to mark the centenary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior on November 4, 2020. The grave of the Unknown Warrior is the final resting place of an unidentified British serviceman who died on the battlefields during the First World War and whose body was brought from Northern France and buried at Westminster Abbey on 11th November 1920. (Photo by Aaron Chown – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

 

The bouquet of flowers placed by The Queen’s Equerry, Lieutenant Colonel Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah, on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II during a ceremony in Westminster Abbey to mark the centenary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior on November 4, 2020. The grave of the Unknown Warrior is the final resting place of an unidentified British serviceman who died on the battlefields during the First World War and whose body was brought from Northern France and buried at Westminster Abbey on 11th November 1920. (Photo by Aaron Chown – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The heavy restrictions on the traditional mass commemorations of the fallen on Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day have caused considerable upset to some veterans, forces families, and patriots, however, with the public being prevented from attending the Cenotaph and most local ceremonies this year, for example.

“[Prime Minister Boris] Johnson and [Health Secretary Matt] Hancock, our prison governor and chief warder, [have] once again made normal life illegal,” complained Peter Hitchens, the Christian conservative journalist (and brother to late atheist left-wing journalist, Christopher Hitchens).

“I am not sure I will ever be able to forgive the people who made it a crime to sing O God, Our Help In Ages Past at an English village war memorial,” he wrote.

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