The King has led the Remembrance Sunday service after protests marred Armistice Day.
Under a gloomy sky, King Charles laid the first wreath at the Cenotaph on Sunday morning after observing a two-minute silence.
Thousands of well-wishers who had lined the streets to observe the ceremony watched as the Royal Marines Band made its way from the Palace of Westminster to the Cenotaph in the rain.
The band made several loops around the monument, with the Royal Marines infantry marching in tow.
The Massed Pipes and Drums played songs such as Rule Britannia in the rain but the showers stopped before the King led the country in quiet reflection at the Whitehall memorial.
Wearing the uniform of the Marshal of the Royal Air Force with greatcoat, poppy and sword, Charles – who as sovereign is commander-in-chief of the armed forces in the UK and realms – laid a wreath similar to the one produced for King George VI.
It featured 41 open-style poppy petals mounted on an arrangement of black leaves – traditional for sovereigns’ wreaths – of 27-inch diameter ribbon and bow using the colours from Charles’s racing silk – scarlet, purple and gold.
On Armistice Day, Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, spoke out against the clashes seen on the streets of the capital between the far-right, “Hamas sympathisers” and police, which he said had disrespected the military and Britain’s fallen.
However, on Sunday morning, as Charles was followed by members of the Royal family in the setting down of wreaths, the mood was entirely different.
Major Ollie Plunket of The Rifles, equerry to Camilla, laid a wreath on behalf of the Queen, who was watching from a balcony with the Princess of Wales, followed by the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Princess Royal. The Duke of Kent’s wreath was laid by his equerry.
Buckingham Palace said the Queen’s wreath closely resembled the one produced for the Queen Mother.
After the Royal family had completed the laying of the wreaths, Mr Sunak approached the Cenotaph to pay his respects, setting down his wreath before other senior politicians including Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Foreign Secretary James Cleverly followed.
They were joined in paying tribute by the living former UK prime ministers: Liz Truss, Boris Johnson, Theresa May, David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Sir Tony Blair and Sir John Major.
As the laying of the wreaths culminated, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the Chief of the Defence Staff, Admiral Sir Ben Key, the First Sea Lord, General Sir Patrick Sanders, the Chief of the General Staff, and Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Knighton, the Chief of the Air Staff, jointly set down their wreaths.
The event concluded with a short service, including prayers and hymns, before the Royal British Legion March Past commenced.
Steven Jones, 48, from Anglesey, who served in the Queen’s Dragoon Guards, said it was “good to see so many young people here today”, adding that it was his first time in London for the occasion.
Thomas Evans, 48, who served in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, arrived with his daughter, who “joined the Army Cadets because of me”.
Mr Evans, from Buckley in Flintshire, Wales, said an important part of the day for him was “passing on the proveniences of why we’re here” to the next generation.
“I think it’s His Royal Highness’s first Remembrance Day. There’s a poignancy to this day. Irrespective of the generation and what’s going on in the world, we remember the few,” he said. “It makes you stoic to remember what we’re here for – standing for two or three hours – to remember.”