Michael Adebowale, 22, of Greenwich was charged late Wednesday with the May 22 murder.
Adebowale spoke only to confirm his identity as he appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, according to NBC News’ British partner ITV News.
He was limping as he was led into court, and was allowed to sit by the magistrate, ITV News said.
The case was sent for trial at the Old Bailey – England’s highest criminal court – by chief magistrate Howard Riddle. However, Adebowale will appear in court again on Monday for a bail hearing.
A second suspect in the case remains in hospital.
Lee Rigby, 25, a drummer in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was murdered as he walked near a military barracks in Woolwich, southeast London, last week.
He left behind a wife and a 2-year-old son. He was a native of Manchester, UK, who joined the military in 2006.
The UK Ministry of Defense said Rigby had served in Afghanistan in 2009 and had helped guard UK royal palaces. It described him as “a loving father” and “an extremely popular and witty soldier.”