Little Megan Adams was overwhelmed when she sang in front of the Queen and David Cameron last night.
But it wasn’t the presence of the Monarch or the Prime Minister that left her in tears… it was the unexpected arrival on stage of her Royal Navy officer father.
Megan, ten, of Stirling, Scotland, had believed her father, Lieutenant Commander Billy Adams, was in the Seychelles where he is serving as part of the Navy’s war on piracy.
So when he walked on stage at the Royal Albert Hall, there was only one thing she could do – race to give him a welcome home hug. But the moment soon got to her and Megan was reduced to floods of tears.
The youngster had been performing with the Poppy Girls, a choir made up of the daughters of Servicemen.
The reunion was one of the highlights of the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.
Host Huw Edwards had told Megan he had a special guest for her – and as Lieut Cmdr Adams walked down the steps, she burst into tears and shouted, ‘Daddy!’ before running towards him.
The Queen smiled broadly and exchanged comments with Prince Philip and Princess Anne.
The audience applauded loudly as father and daughter left the stage – Lieut Cmdr Adams had arrived home from his mission three months ahead of schedule.
There was also a standing ovation for the Chelsea Pensioners, with the Queen and her husband rising to their feet as the men marched into the Hall.
Another particularly emotional moment came when the bereaved families of servicemen and women who lost their loved ones marched silently into the hall.
It followed a short video that was played to the 4,000-strong audience, showing the mother of Lance Corporal James Ashworth, 23, speaking of her loss.
The soldier, from Corby, Northamptonshire, was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross in recognition of his courage while serving with the 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards in Helmand province last year.
The citation mentioned his ‘total disregard for his own safety’ in ensuring a grenade was posted accurately in the battle against an insurgent.
His mother Kerry, who led the bereaved along with her son Coran, also a serving soldier, said in the clip: ‘He was just such a good lad. He did such a good job.’
As the widows, parents and siblings walked in, many members of the audience wept – with the Countess of Wessex among those shedding a tear.
Samantha Cameron, the wife of Prime Minister David Cameron, also looked close to tears, while Labour leader Ed Miliband’s wife Justine Thornton appeared emotional at the sight of the bereaved relatives.
The event was attended by the party leaders as well as other senior members of the Royal Family, including the Princess Royal and Earl of Wessex, and featured performances from tenor Alfie Boe, singer Katie Melua and former Army officer James Blunt.
Labour leader Ed Miliband and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, along with British Legion supporters and serving members of the Armed Forces, were also among those in the 4,000-strong audience.
Performances by singers were interspersed with appearances on stage from bereaved families and survivors of past conflicts, including the last Dambuster, Squadron Leader Johnny Johnson, as the 70th anniversary of the raid was marked.
He was given a standing ovation and applauded for more than a minute as he stood with the Torch of Remembrance.
The festival also paid tribute to those who took part in the Battle of the Atlantic.
Prince Philip seemed especially keen to watch members of the Royal Navy, the Army, Royal Air Force, Royal British Legion and civilian services, and leaned forward in the Royal Box for a closer look.
The Queen will lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in Whitehall today in memory of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in what is the focal point of the Remembrance Sunday events.
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