Queen and President of Germany attend remembrance service at Westminster Abbey
The pair watched as flowers were laid at the grave of The Unknown Warrior, later shaking hands at the end of the service.
The Queen and President of Germany heard prayers for a time of “harmony” during a service at Westminster Abbey marking the centenary of the Armistice.
President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the Queen were joined by the Prime Minister, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for the remembrance service.
Dean of Westminster, Dr John Hall, prayed for a time when conflict was “transformed into friendship and collaboration”.
The Queen, dressed in purple, and Mr Steinmeier watched as flowers were laid at the grave of The Unknown Warrior, later shaking hands at the end of the service.
In his bidding, the dean said: “As we mark today the centenary of the Armistice that brought to an end the First World War, we remember with sorrow the sacrifice of lives on all sides of the conflict and the suffering of the devastated and bereaved.
“We reflect on how people were led into the war and how the war came to an end and on the uneasy peace that followed with its continuing suffering and the disruption of families and ways of life.
“Above all, in our remembrance and reflection, we hope for a time when aggression between peoples and nations is transformed into friendship and collaboration, when all may live side by side in mutual encouragement and harmony and the weapons of war are transformed into the instruments of peace.”
In an address, the Archbishop of Canterbury said: “We look back at the ruins and find that they have been rebuilt.
“We look forward, in a very different world and society, however great the challenges, and see that through the faithfulness of God and our loving obedience, conflict has been transformed, and enemies reconciled, and that is hope for the world.”
Actress Sophie Okonedo read from the diaries of social reformer Beatrice Webb, dated November 11 1918.
The diary entry said: “PEACE! London to-day is a pandemonium of noise and revelry, soldiers and flappers being most in evidence.
“Multitudes are making all the row they can, and in spite of depressing fog and steady rain, discords of sound and struggling, rushing beings and vehicles fill the streets.
“Paris, I imagine, will be more spontaneous and magnificent in its rejoicing. Berlin, also, is reported to be elated, having got rid not only of the war but also of its oppressors. The peoples are everywhere rejoicing.”
Actor John Simm read a passage from John Jackson, Private 12768: Memoir Of A Tommy.
He read: “The news must have been welcome at home, and in most countries of the world, but no non-combatants could have any idea what the message meant to the men in the trenches.
“I think we were slow to believe it could really be true after the long years of fighting.
“It was strange to think, and know, that once more we could move about fully exposed without fear of being shot at.”
The choir of Westminster Abbey sang throughout the service, and readings were delivered by Theresa May and Prince Charles.
Mr Steinmeier delivered his reading in German near to the end of the service.
Among the congregation was 88-year-old Ruth Gayfer whose parents Edwin Oliver and Evelyn Boyce were in the First World War and wrote love letters to each other.
Ms Gayfer, who is from Yorkshire but lives in London, said her father enrolled when he was just 16 and was in the 4th East Yorkshire Regiment, while her mother was a nurse.
Mr Oliver died in 1934 when Ruth was just four.
Reflecting on events on Sunday, she said: “It’s wonderful, it really is. My older sister is 97 and she’s absolutely delighted, because of course she remembers him in her teens when he took her on cycling holidays and things like that.”
Another member of the congregation was Patricia Barber, 73, from Ilford, whose grandfather, Private John Thomas Blackett, served with the 5th Battalion Dorset Regiment.
She said: “I’m very proud to be here to talk about my grandfather. He’s a brave man. Although he wasn’t actually killed in the war, I think as a result of his injuries is probably why he died.
“He was shell-shocked and discharged as unfit for active service and that was in June 1918, and then two months later he died tragically in a drowning accident.
“So whether that was because he was shell-shocked he fell in the river or jumped, we don’t know. It was an open verdict.
“But he’s got no marked grave and his name’s not on any memorial, or even in the regimental roll of honour.”
Ms Barber said her grandfather has a military medal, and she still hopes to see his name on a memorial or a headstone in future.
“It would be nice just to get his name on a memorial,” she said.
Edward Finlayson, great nephew of Walter Tull, the first black officer to lead white troops into battle, said he was “very proud” to be at the Abbey for the service.
Walter Tull, the first black outfield player in the top flight, joined Northampton from Tottenham in 1911, before signing up to the Footballers Battalion in 1914.
He was promoted to sergeant in 1915, served on the Western and Italian fronts in the war, but he was killed in action at the Battle of Arras in 1918, with his body never found.