Members of the public broke with tradition today by applauding HM The Queen for attending the remembrance Sunday commemoration despite police uncovering a plot to kill her at the event. The annual ceremony on Whitehall remembers British soldiers killed in conflicts since the First World War.
The national memorial, the Cenotaph, was surrounded by a massive security presence including both the police and the army to protect those present. Since the Canadian terrorist attack there have been concerns for any public event involving troops but today there was also a risk to members of the royal family.
Concerns about the event surfaced because a group of Muslim men from High Wycombe were arrested earlier this week on suspicion of plot to assassinate the Queen. They included a 19-year-old who had recently returned from Pakistan.
The Queen was joined by the 46 High Commissioners of Commonwealth countries who contributed soldiers in both world wars. India contributed 1.5m soldiers in WWI, whilst Canada and Australia send around half a million each, other countries were represented by smaller numbers.
For the first time ever the Irish Ambassador attended the event to lay a wreath on behalf of those who died from his country. His Excellency Mr Daniel Mulhall’s attendance demonstrates the improved relations between the militaries of both countries.
This is the last year the Normandy Veterans Association will march for remembrance Sunday as they will be formally disbanded next month. They only sent 10 members this year because so many of their members have either died or are too old to make the journey.