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Sunday, 10 November, 2002, 01:05 GMT
Queen attends festival for war heroes
The Queen arriving at the Albert Hall
The Queen arrived amid tight security
The Queen and Prime Minister Tony Blair have joined thousands of people at a festival in London to remember Britain's war heroes.

The event, staged at the Royal Albert Hall, was expected to attract an audience of about eight million people during its broadcast on BBC One and Radio 2.

The Royal British Legion festival included a two minute silence as thousands of poppy petals were dropped from the ceiling in honour of those servicemen and women who have died in conflicts across the globe.

Military bands, including the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, performed, veterans paraded and there were entertaining displays from army battalions.

Young people joined in the proceedings too with a rendition of the song Of Arms And Peaceful Men while Brookside Actress Claire Sweeney also sang.

Guests searched

Tight security surrounded the venue, while 5,300 people packed the auditorium to capacity.

Roads around the Albert Hall were closed and everyone entering was searched.

Joining the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, were the Prince of Wales, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and the Princess Royal.

The festival included a host of performances and readings by celebrities and rising stars.

Claire Sweeney sang two songs - When You Believe and Abide With Me.

Falklands war veteran Terry Bullingham, who lost his sight when HMS Antrim came under fire during the conflict 20 years ago, read a citation.

And actor Richard Todd made the royal tribute and read the lesson.

Tony Blair and wife Cherie arriving at the Royal Albert Hall
Tony Blair accompanied his wife Cherie to the festival
Students Michael Duke and Tomos Lavery, of the Italia Conti Theatre Arts School in London's Barbican, led the singing of Of Arms and Peaceful Men.

The Royal School, Haslemere, Surrey, sang a tribute to the Queen's Jubilee year with their song, Anthem 21, providing a new setting to the words of the National Anthem.

Pianist Simon Mulligan played the theme to the BBC Two series Band of Brothers.

The event came the day after the Queen was visibly moved as she took on her late mother's role at the opening of the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey.

The annual open-air service in St Margaret's churchyard, held in memory of Britain's war heroes, was rarely missed by the Queen Mother.

On Sunday the Queen takes part in the centrepiece of the weekend's commemorations, the Remembrance Day service and parade at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.


In remembrance

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