What do the Commonwealth gate flames represent?

What do the Commonwealth gate flames represent?
Queen's coffin procession arrives at Wellington Arch
Independent TV

The mile-long public procession of the Queen's coffin ended at Wellington Arch after travelling through Broad Sanctuary, Parliament Square, Whitehall, Horse Guards Parade, Horse Guards Road, The Mall, and Constitution Hill.

King Charles III and his siblings walked behind the coffin as it left Westminster Abbey after the state funeral, while other royals travelled by car.

Hundreds of thousands of well-wishers flocked to London and lined the route through the capital to say their last goodbyes, while millions around the globe were watching proceedings on TV.

Mourners were also spotted near the Memorial Gates, with the Commonwealth gate flames lit.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

What do the Commonwealth gate flames represent?

The pillars of the Memorial Gates are topped by a bronze urn and gas flames, which are on special occasions such as Remembrance Sunday, Armistice Day and Commonwealth Day.

Inaugurated by the Queen in 2002, the Portland Stone pillars are dedicated to five million people from the Indian Sub-Continent, Africa and the Caribbean who served or lost their lives in the two World Wars.

"They also celebrate the contribution that these men and women and their descendants continue to make to the rich diversity of British society," the website explains.

They are carved with the names of holders of Victoria and George Crosses on the inside, along with:

  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Sri Lanka
  • Africa
  • Caribbean
  • Kingdom of Nepal

Where are they located?

The war memorial, also known as the Commonwealth Memorial Gates, is at the Hyde Park Corner end of Constitution Hill in London.


There will be a televised committal service, attended by around 800 guests, expected to take place at 4pm in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)