Earlier today, The Duchess of Cambridge, The Duke of Sussex and The Duke of Gloucester attended the ANZAC Day Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey.
ANZAC Day honours all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations and the contribution and suffering of all those who have served. Anzac Day originally honoured the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who died during the landings in Gallipoli during World War 1, hence the name of the commemoration.
Each year, the Royal Family commemorate ANZAC Day, as The Queen is both countries’ Head of State, and the then-Empire nations fought for Britain.
Kate and Prince Harry arrived together at the event. Sir Tim – Princess’ Anne’s husband – was also at the service.
The Duke of Cambridge is currently in New Zealand, and attended an ANZAC Day service during his visit, which is mainly to pay tribute to those killed in the Christchurch attacks.
The Duke of Sussex was not originally included in the programme; Prince Harry did not wish to commit his attendance when his wife, The Duchess of Sussex, is due any day now.
On #AnzacDay The Duke of Cambridge attended the Civic Service at @AucklandMuseum in New Zealand, as we remember the servicemen and women of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who have served their nation in times of war. #LestWeForget pic.twitter.com/84uwXxgYq1
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 25, 2019
The Duke wore his Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. The honour around his neck is that of the Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order.
The Duke of Gloucester, one of The Queen’s working royal cousins, sat between The Duke of Sussex and The Duchess of Cambridge during the service, as per the order of precedence, because Catherine is not of royal blood and was without her husband.
In attendance at the service were Australia’s High Commissioner George Brandis, and New Zealand’s Deputy High Commissioner David Evans.
During the service, the Dean of Westminster remembered the 50 lives lost during the Christchurch mosque terrorist attack in March. He said: “We honour today the bravery and determination of the men at Gallipoli. The spirit of national pride encourages us, as we bring to mind in particular the recent terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand.
“We pray for an end to terror and for the triumph of peace…The solitary act of aggression, bringing horror and death to a country at peace, must not drive apart the close friendships and associations between those of different religious faiths.”
The congregation listened as the last post was sounded and Turkey’s Ambassador, Umit Yalcin, read the famous words of Turkey’s founder, Kemal Atarurk, from Anzac Cove on the Gallipoli Peninsula. It begins, “Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives…You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.”
As is tradition, the Dean of Westminster gave a roll-call of the tens of thousands of Australian and New Zealanders killed during 1914-18 war.
ANZAC Day has been marked in London since 1916, when George V and Queen Mary attended a service at Westminster Abbey and more than 2,000 Australian and New Zealand troops marched through the streets.