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Emotional King unveils statues of late parents at the Royal Albert Hall ahead of Festival of Remembrance | UK News

The King and Queen unveiled statues of the Elizabeth II and Prince Philip as they arrived for the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.

The life-sized bronzes, commemorating the late Queen and her husband’s dedication to the concert hall, were installed as part of its 150th anniversary.

King Charles appeared emotional as he looked up at the statue of his late mother at Saturday’s unveiling ceremony.

The King and Queen were later accompanied at the festival by nine other members of the Royal Family, including the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak observed the event from a box to the left of the royals alongside his wife Akshata Murty while Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer sat in a separate box to the right with his wife Lady Victoria.

Hosting the annual event, Clare Balding said that servicemen and women who have lost their lives are “kept alive with our words, our memories, our tributes”.

There were performances from British soul singer Mica Paris, pop star Calum Scott, Chelsea Pensioner Colin Thackery and tenor Alfie Boe, who performed Bring Him Home.

Statue of Queen Elizabeth II
Statue of Queen Elizabeth II

The statue of Prince Philip at the Royal Albert Hall
The statue of Prince Philip at the Royal Albert Hall

The Princess Royal led a tribute to those who lost their lives in the Battle of the Atlantic, the longest military campaign of the Second World War.

This year’s Festival of Remembrance marked 80 years since the battle, which saw around 65,000 seamen lose their lives.

Other tributes at the festival included to the bereaved who have lost loved ones through military service.

Footage marking the 70th anniversary of the Korean War was shown, with contributions from people who had served.

There were also tributes to the Windrush generation and their contribution to the British armed forces, marking the 75th anniversary of the HMT Empire Windrush’s arrival in the UK.

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The royals joined the crowd to sing Dear Lord And Father Of Mankind after the remembrance book, containing the names of British war dead, was brought into the centre of the hall.

It was carried by petty officer Stuart Jones and his family, accompanied by recently reunited Royal Navy families.

Sir Keir Starmer with his wife Lady Victoria

The event ended with a rendition of God Save The King followed by three cheers after which King Charles waved to the crowd who applauded as he left with the other royals.

On Sunday, His Majesty will lead the nation in remembrance at the Cenotaph following a day of violent clashes in central London between counter-protesters and police, who attempted to stop them from interfering with a major pro-Palestinian march.

Just Stop Oil protesters interrupt Proms at Royal Albert Hall | UK News

Just Stop Oil protesters have invaded the stage during the first night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.

“The pair set off confetti cannons and sounded air horns, demanding the UK government immediately halt all new oil and gas consents and licences,” the environmental group tweeted.

“They attempted to address the audience before being forcibly removed.”

Pic: @alexcohengrin/Twitter
Pic: @alexcohengrin/Twitter

The pair were booed by some people in the audience as they were bundled off stage after unfurling banners.

The BBC, which airs the annual classical music event, said “there was no disruption to the concert or the broadcast during the few seconds the protesters were on stage”.

It also denied that air horns and confetti were used.

Just Stop Oil said the demonstrators were Kate Logan, a 38-year-old mother of two, and Pia Bastide, a 29-year-old community worker – both from London.

“I refuse to accept that my future is being sold away, one new oil licence at a time, and do nothing,” said Ms Bastide in a statement.

The protest group wants the government to stop licensing all new oil, gas and coal projects and has tried to disrupt numerous high-profile events to highlight its cause.

Just Stop Oil protesters interrupted the first night of the Proms. Pic: Just Stop Oil
Pic: Just Stop Oil

In response to the Royal Albert Hall incident, Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer tweeted: “Eco zealots shouldn’t disrupt sports events, weddings or the Proms.

“My message is this: Leave people to enjoy the events they love, and stop damaging your own cause.”

Confetti and jigsaw pieces were thrown on a court at Wimbledon last week, while England cricketer Jonny Bairstow carried off a protester at the Ashes in June.

Orange powder was also thrown on a table at the snooker world championship in April, while the Chelsea Flower Show was targeted in May.

Two members of the group were jailed for more than two and a half years a few months ago after climbing the bridge at the Dartford Crossing in October.

New powers to crack down on activists came into force this month.

They give police new rights to move static protesters, such as those who attach themselves to objects or sit in the road.