The Queen led a service of commemoration for the final withdrawal at Gallipoli today, after the traditional Sunday service at church, where she was joined by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Middleton family.
It was an unexpected appearance for both William and Catherine, and the Middleton family, who have likely been staying with the Duke and Duchess at Anmer Hall, as Kate celebrated her 34th birthday on Saturday.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh attended the Sunday service at Sandringham’s church, and were joined by William, Kate and her family, Michael, Carole, Pippa and James. After, the Royals walked to the war memorial for the commemoration to mark the 100th anniversary of the final withdrawal of British troops from the Gallipoli peninsular.
Her Majesty’s wreath read ‘In memory of the glorious dead’, and a minute’s silence was held in memory of those who lost their lives, following the poignant sound of the bugle.
William and Catherine spent a few minutes chatting to members of the Royal British Legion, former soldiers and the families of soldiers who fought at Gallipoli after the ceremony. Over 100 members of staff from the Sandringham Estate – gardeners, labourers, servants – served in the ill-fated campaign in Turkey during WWI, in the Norfolk Regiment.
The Gallipoli campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign, was an allied operation which aimed to force the Ottoman empire out of the war.
More than 131,000 allied and Turkish troops died in the battle, including 11,400 Anzac (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) and 25,000 British soldiers. 17 of these 100 Norfolk men did not return following an attack on the Turks in August 1915.
The Middletons did not attend the service, and are reported to have walked back to Sandringham House, where The Queen and Duke are to stay until early February.