Queen Consort Camilla and Catherine, Princess of Wales Leave Poignant Empty Space on Balcony to Honor Queen Elizabeth at Remembrance Sunday

Her absence at the annual event was profoundly felt this morning.

Queen Consort Camilla, Catherine, Princess of Wales
(Image credit: Getty)

Today is Remembrance Sunday in the U.K.—long held as one of the most important dates in the royal diary by Her late Majesty and the entire family. The Queen Consort and the Princess of Wales stood on the balcony of the Foreign Office, which overlooked the Cenotaph, where wreaths were laid by members of the royal family to honor those from the U.K. and Commonwealth nations who died in war. The two women, The Mirror reports, left a poignant empty space on the balcony where the late Queen used to stand in recent years when she couldn’t lay the wreath herself, instead asking her son, the then Prince Charles, to do so in her place. Both Camilla and Kate held back tears as the ceremony unfolded. (Her late Majesty passed away on September 8 at 96 years old, so this is an especially meaningful Remembrance Sunday for the royal family.)

Both women wore black coats and hats, and both women had three poppies pinned to their outfits, as well as diamond brooches. (The poppies are worn as a show of support for the Armed Forces community and are a forefront symbol of Remembrance in the U.K.) Kate—ever symbolic through her choice of jewelry—wore diamond and pearl drop earrings that once belonged to her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, according to The Daily Mail. This is the third time Kate has worn these earrings—the first to the BAFTAs in 2019, and earlier this year at Royal Ascot.

Last night, at the Festival of Remembrance at London’s Royal Albert Hall, Kate again chose symbolic jewelry, opting to wear the same Bahrain pearl drop earrings and four-strand pearl choker necklace with a diamond piece in the center that she wore to the Queen’s funeral in September, People reports. (She also wore the earrings and the choker for Prince Philip’s funeral in 2021.)

“Pearls are one of the very few jewelry items you can wear in mourning and are inextricably linked with Queen Elizabeth and her personal jewelry legacy,” Bethan Holt, author of The Queen: 70 Years of Majestic Style, tells People. “It’s a symbol of mourning a monarch but also a grandmother or great-grandmother.”

Remembrance was deeply important to Her late Majesty and remains so for those family members who survive her. “The royal family is showing gratitude for the loss of life basically occurring in their name—certainly in the name of the sovereign as the head of state,” A Century of Remembrance author Laura Clouting tells the outlet. “Remembrance is very, very personal for them.”

Especially so this year, no doubt.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.