30 June 2016

Somme Centenary Vigil

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh attended an Evening Vigil at Westminster Abbey to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Somme. The battle was one of the bloodiest in World War I, resulting in over one million casualties.
Sergeant Ross Tilly/DDC/MOD Crown Copyright
For more: BBC video, BBC article.

I suspect that it is not a coincidence that The Queen chose to wear a brooch from Queen Mary on this day, when King George V was on the throne during World War I. Her brooches are so obviously not the focus of remembrance events like these, but the way she occasionally uses them to add subtle significance can be quite thoughtful. (The Cullinan V was also worn last year to commemorate VE and VJ Day anniversaries; the outfit was first seen when visiting the Bergen-Belsen memorial in Germany.)

Andrew Linnett/MOD Crown Copyright

Three Strand Pearl Necklace


BBC screencap
The Royal Family will be out in force to commemorate the Somme centenary. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will be in France on Friday, where The Duchess will lay a wreath at the grave of her great-uncle, Captain Harry Cubitt, who died during the battle.

BBC screencap
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are also in France. They attended a vigil at the Thiepval Memorial on Thursday and will attend more events on Friday. Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence was there as well, due to his involvement with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The Duke of York, The Countess of Wessex, The Princess Royal, and The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester will also participate in events surrounding the anniversary.


Video: Some background on the Battle of the Somme