Without fanfare, the Queen, 94, quietly headed to Westminster Abbey for a somber commemoration on Wednesday

By Simon Perry
November 05, 2020 11:05 AM

Queen Elizabeth quietly made a poignant trip into London on Wednesday to carry out a somber duty.

Without fanfare or announcement, she was taken to Westminster Abbey where she solemnly visited the grave of the Unknown Warrior. The significant spot, close to the Abbey’s West Door, helps to mark the sacrifice of millions of soldiers, many of whom died without being identified.

It was the first time she has been into London for an official royal engagement since March when she left for Windsor Castle at the start of the U.K. lockdown. The outing also came one day before a second national lockdown was imposed across England. Starting on Thursday, all nonessential shops, restaurants, pubs and leisure facilities will be closed for at least four weeks.

This year marks 100 years since the Unknown Warrior, which had been brought to London from the fields of France where the soldier fell, was buried at the site. That service, which took place two years after the end of the First World War, was attended by the Queen’s grandfather King George V.

Queen Elizabeth
| Credit: Shutterstock
Queen Elizabeth
| Credit: Shutterstock

The outing was confirmed by Buckingham Palace’s court circular, which is published in some British newspapers and on the royals’ official website each day.

When the Queen returned to Windsor after her summer break in Scotland and Norfolk ended, it was announced that she would be coming into London for some royal duties. But those opportunities have continued to be limited due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Credit: Times Newspaper

Later on Wednesday evening, the Queen returned to Windsor Castle, where she is staying with husband Prince Philip, and spoke with Prime Minister Boris Johnson by phone for their weekly audience, the court circular confirms.

On Armistice Day on November 11, there will be a special service at Westminster Abbey, which will be televised in the U.K. It will be attended by Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, it was announced on Thursday.

Queen Elizabeth
| Credit: Shutterstock

The Queen’s trip into central London took place shortly after Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall had represented the royal family at the annual Field of Remembrance in the shadow of the Abbey.

Former army captain Prince Harry, who is more than 5,000 miles away in California, usually carries out that duty.

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The services are a run-up to the annual commemoration of the U.K.'s fallen soldiers and the sacrifices made by servicemen and women and their families that are honored on Remembrance Sunday this weekend.