Queen Elizabeth Invites German President Steinmeier To Armistice Centenary Commemoration

To mark the 100 years that have passed since the Allied powers and the German Empire signed the Armistice that put an end to World War I, Queen Elizabeth II will have German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier as the only head of state to join her in November at the televised celebrations.

The invite is meant to reflect the reconciliation between the nations since the signing of the 1918 Armistice, the Express reported. The televised event will place at Westminster Abbey on Nov. 11.

“There have been German representatives involved throughout the commemorations but it is fitting that the current German president should be present at the main commemoration with the Queen in November,” a high-level Whitehall source said, according to the Express report.

The Oscar-winning film director Danny Boyle will also join the commemoration in an effort to capture the mood in the nation and “invite communities across the UK to come together in marking 100 years since the Armistice.” The idea is for Boyle to encourage attendees to write the name of a soldier on biodegradable paper and send it to the sea to honor the British soldiers who crossed the English Channel to sign the Armistice in 1918, though there appear to be some misgivings about the proposal, according to the Daily Mail.

Peter Jackson, the Hollywood star director behind The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, is also expected to be taking part in the celebrations. The Express reported that Jackson will be given access to World War I secret footage and 600 hours of audio interviews from the Imperial War Museum to allow him to put together an enactment that will “bring to life” the experiences lived by the soldiers.

In a side event, French President Emmanuel Macron will use the centenary of the Armistice in combination with the third anniversary of the 2015 Paris attacks that took place between Nov. 13 and Nov. 14 to host a peace forum, which more than 80 heads of state are expected to attend.

“Peace is currently losing ground every day,” he said. The plans for the event are still in the works, and Macron has urged heads of states to brainstorm ideas for the peace forum, which will have as its theme the promise made a century ago, “Never again.”

The Daily Mail reported that a senior royal will attend ceremonies taking place in Belfast, Cardiff, and Glasgow, as well as a ceremony in Paris.

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