Armed Forces Day 2021

Princess Royal Leads Armed Forces Day Tributes At National Memorial Arboretum

Physical and virtual celebrations have been held across the country to mark this year’s Armed Forces Day.

The Princess Royal has helped lead the celebrations for Armed Forces Day, as the country thanked military personnel for their service during the coronavirus pandemic.

Anne and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, joined servicemen and women at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire on Saturday.

As a special thank you to those who helped to support the UK's response to COVID-19, 100 service personnel were invited to an exclusive VIP lunch reception with their families.

Many of those attending played key roles in the pandemic, from driving ambulances to supporting the vaccination programme.

A Red Arrows flypast kicked off the service of tributes marking Armed Forces Day 2021 (Picture: MOD).

Speaking at the event, the princess, dressed in uniform, said: "Today we recognise our Armed Forces.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their contribution to the response to the pandemic, as well as continuing to provide the defence that this country needs, wherever that may be."

The Princess Royal helped lead the celebrations for Armed Forces Day 2021 (Picture: MOD).

Baroness Goldie, Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence, said: "To our Armed Forces, we owe such a huge debt, because they stepped up to the plate, they were helping with testing, they were helping with setting up temporary hospitals.

"They were helping with distributing vaccines, absolutely marvellous support and I think it just reminds us again of the astonishing people that our Armed Forces personnel are, and the astonishing work they do."

Chelsea Pensioners at the National Memorial Arboretum (Picture: MOD).

Physical and virtual celebrations were held across the country to mark this year's Armed Forces Day – an annual celebration of serving troops, their families, veterans and cadets.

The originally planned national event in Scarborough had to be postponed for a second year running because of coronavirus restrictions.