11 JULY 2005

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The Royal Family was joined by a quarter of a million proud Britons as a rain of poppies fell on the streets of London on Sunday. Her Majesty stood side by side with her sons Charles and Andrew on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the spectacular floral tribute, which was staged in honour of those who died in World War II.

Patriotic cheers filled the streets of the capital when a Lancaster bomber, flanked by a Spitfire and a Hurricane, dropped a million poppy flowers onto the throng below. The Queen, who wore a pale sage ensemble, caught one of the petals as it floated down.

Sharing the balcony with the monarch was the Duchess of Cornwall, who demonstrated her growing fashion sense with an eye-catching feathered hat. Her husband Prince Charles was in military attire as was stepson Harry, who was making his first public outing in his ceremonial Army uniform.

The family's appearance on the balcony came at the end of a day of celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the war. After offering prayers of remembrance at Westminster Abbey, the sovereign led a military parade up The Mall and into Buckingham Palace.

Veteran entertainers Bruce Forsythe, Max Bygraves and Dame Vera Lynn were on hand, providing fun and nostalgia in equal measure, before the crowd was treated to an unforgettable fly-past of WWII planes.

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With her dramatic headpiece and his ceremonial uniform Charles and Camilla made a striking couple
Photo: AFP
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The Queen examines one of the millions of poppy petals which floated down onto the streets of the capital
Photo: AFP

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