The UK and Europe will commemorate the end of the First World War in a series of events across the continent today.

In London, the Prince of Wales will lay a wreath at the Cenotaph on behalf of his mother for the second year in a row, while the Queen will watch the Whitehall service from the balcony of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

For the first time, a German leader will lay a wreath at the Cenotaph, with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier performing the duty on behalf of his nation in an historic act of reconciliation between the two countries.

Veterans and 10,000 descendants will march along Whitehall in a people’s procession.

Among the oldest taking part is 98-year-old Private Donald Smith, marching with the Queen’s Own Highlanders, and 97-year-old Jeff Watkins, who has travelled from California to attend.

Members of the cabinet, opposition party leaders, former prime ministers, the London mayor and other ministers will also be present at the National Service of Remembrance. The armed forces, fishing fleets and merchant air and navy will be represented, as well as faith communities and high commissioners of Commonwealth countries.

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Events will also be held across the UK, including in Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh and thousands of small villages which gave their men to fight and sacrifice their lives to protect Europe.

Later in the day, the Royal Family will also attend a special service at Westminster Abbey and beacons will be lit around Britain to mark the Armistice.

Around 70 world leaders are gathering in Paris to mark the Armistice. President Emmanuel Macron will be joined by Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Both the US and Russia played a large role in the war. However a mooted summit between Mr Putin and Mr Trump has been postponed in case it distracts from the commemorations.

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In his annual Remembrance Day interview with Sky News, the Chief of the Defence Staff said the centenary had been bigger than imagined.

Looking back at it in 2013 and we were working out how we would do this, I don’t think any of us expected it to resonate quite how it has resonated with the British population, General Sir Nicholas Carter said.

And the reason it has resonated is because of the personal connections, the personal stories and people have been able to identify with what their great-great-grandfather experienced.

Lucy Cubitt is one of those with a personal story. To mark the centenary she put together individual books for her grandfather and great-uncles who all fought in the Great War. Both her great uncles were killed.

I thought it was really important for the next generation, both to have something to remember the individuals and to be part of their family history, it was very special, she told Sky News.
(c) Sky News 2018: Tributes to war dead on Armistice centenary