World

Sombre Remembrance Day services held across Europe

French President Emmanuel Macron marked Remembrance Day on Monday by relighting the flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Ceremonies mark 101 years since the end of First World War

French President Emmanuel Macron places a wreath of flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Monday as part of commemorations marking the 101st anniversary of the end of the First World War. (Francois Mori/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

French President Emmanuel Macron marked Remembrance Day on Monday by relighting the flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Greeted by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, Macron inspected troops during the otherwise low-key ceremony marking 101 years since the Armistice that ended the combat of the First World War.

He also stopped by the nearby tomb of French wartime leader Georges Clemenceau.

The rousing sound of military band brass music was slightly muffled by persistent rain for the hundreds of spectators —including former French Presidents Francois Holland and Nicolas Sarkozy — along the Champs Elysees avenue, some of whom waved French flags. 

The French leader will later inaugurate a monument for the hundreds of soldiers who died in foreign operations since 1963, whom the military calls "the fourth generation of fire."

WATCH: European leaders honour fallen soldiers at Remembrance Day commemoration

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron attend separate Remembrance Day commemorations on Monday. 2:07

Since the 1960s, 549 French soldiers have died in 17 theatres of conflict, including 141 in Lebanon, 129 in Chad, 85 in Afghanistan and 78 in the former Yugoslavia.

Commemorations were also underway in France's wartime ally, Britain, on Monday.

The Royal British Legion urged the nation to remember the 100th anniversary of the first two-minute silence observed on Armistice Day by shutting out modern technology and all distractions.

"This year we're asking the nation to pause — mute your phone, close your laptop, switch off the telly — for just two minutes and pay your respects to our Armed Forces community, past and present," the legion said on its website. "Join us at 11 a.m. on 11 November for the two-minute silence."

HMS Queen Elizabeth held one of the ceremonies taking place across Britain to mark the day. Posting a short video on Twitter, the ship's crew honoured the fallen by spelling out "Lest we Forget" on the aircraft carrier's massive deck.

Britain's largest Armistice ceremony took place Sunday. The event in central London is traditionally held on the closest Sunday to the anniversary of the end of WW I at 11 a.m. local time on Nov. 11, 1918.

Remembrance Day poppies at a war memorial in Hartlepool, northeast England, on Monday. (Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images)

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson attended remembrance service in Wolverhampton in central England and put down a wreath at the foot of a monument mourning the dead.  

Queen Elizabeth led the nation in remembering the war dead, as the political leaders paused campaigning for the Dec. 12 election to take part in a sombre service in London.

The Queen, dressed in black, watched from a balcony as her son and heir Prince Charles laid a wreath of scarlet poppies on the Cenotaph war memorial near Parliament. The 93-year-old monarch, who served as an army mechanic during the Second World War, performed the wreath-laying herself for most of her 67-year reign, but has cut back on her public duties.