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X Factor Star Joe McElderry And Katherine Jenkins Will Perform At The Festival Of Remembrance

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JOE MCELDERRY KATHERINE JENKINS
Joe McElderry And Katherine Jenkins | PA

X Factor star Joe McElderry and singer Katherine Jenkins will perform for the Queen at the Festival of Remembrance in honour of Britain's war dead.

The televised event, staged at the Royal Albert Hall, London, will include a performance by a choir whose members all have partners serving in Afghanistan.

The festival comes the day before before the Queen, Prime Minister and other national figures gather at the Cenotaph in Whitehall for the Remembrance Sunday ceremony.

Other royal guests at the event will include the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, Duke of York, the Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence and the Earl and Countess of Wessex. The evening will be hosted by BBC broadcaster Huw Edwards.

The Royal British legion stages the festival and this year's performance follows a dispute between world football's ruling body, Fifa, and England's Football Association over the wearing of the remembrance poppy symbol.

England players had been banned from having the embroidered flower on their tops for their friendly against Spain. But following a compromise, it has been agreed the players can play wearing black armbands adorned with poppies. The dispute led to both Prime Minister David Cameron and the Duke of Cambridge, in his role as president of the FA, writing to Fifa to ask them to reconsider their decision.

Before Fifa's decision was announced, Chris Simpkins, director general of the Legion which organises the annual Poppy Appeal, said: "The Legion never insists that the poppy be worn or insists that others allow it to be worn. We are grateful when people wear it as a sign of respect, but the decision must be a free one - after all, the poppy represents sacrifices made in the cause of our freedoms."

Watched by an audience of thousands, the Military Wives Choir from the Royal Marines Base Chivenor in north Devon plan to sing Wherever you Are. The women have been led by choirmaster Gareth Malone who formed the group for his BBC Two television series The Choir.

McElderry, who won the X Factor in 2009 and won Popstar to Opera Star earlier this year, will perform To Where You Are. In contrast, veteran singer Sir Cliff Richard, well into his sixth decade as an entertainer, will sing with the Royal Air Force Squadronaires, one of the UK's finest big bands.

Jenkins, a Welsh mezzo-soprano and festival favourite, returns this year to sing a tribute to servicemen and women called A Flower. She is a long-term supporter of the Armed Forces and the Legion and her fiance, presenter Gethin Jones, launched this year's Poppy Appeal. And English tenor Alfie Boe will sing with the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, from Plymouth.

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