Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have attended a dawn service in central London and a service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey to commemorate ANZAC Day. The couple were joined by The Duke of Cambridge for the Abbey service, where he may have hinted at the name of his third child.
The day began early for Harry and Meghan when they attended the dawn service near Wellington Arch in central London, to honour Australian and New Zealand dead from the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign of the First World War.
The couple were given the traditional Maori welcome of hongi – the soft pressing of noses and the sharing of each other’s breath – by Te Ataraiti Waretini from Ngati Ranana – the London Maori Club.
Speaking after the service, Ms Waretini said of Meghan: “She was amazing. I’m not sure if it’s her first time at a Maori ceremony, but she did very very well.
“It was really lovely to meet her and share the breath of life and share our culture with her and Harry.”
Former army captain Harry, led the nation’s tribute to the fallen of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) by laying a wreath of red roses at one of a group of metal crosses that form part of the New Zealand War Memorial in Hyde Park. A handwritten note on the card attached to the wreath read: “For all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of our freedom. Thank you. Harry.”
The Prince also laid a wreath at the nearby Australian War Memorial.
As the hymn, ‘Abide With Me’ was sung, Meghan appeared to be visibly moved by the solemn service of remembrance.
Trevor Mallard, Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives, gave the address during the dawn service and said: “Today we remember 100 years have passed since the final year of the First World War. We honour the service of those who came half way around the world.
“Some with a deep conviction that they were fighting for king and empire, some fighting for peace and justice, others were young lads who saw an opportunity for adventure – none could have foreseen the hell on the frontline and in the trenches.”
He added: “Today in thousands of communities throughout Australia and New Zealand people have come together to acknowledge and pay tribute to those who left our shores and particularly to commemorate those who gave their lives for our freedom.”
Each year, Anzac Day commemorates the anniversary of the ill-fated 1915 landing at Gallipoli in modern-day Turkey during World War I. More than 10,000 New Zealand and Australian servicemen died in the failed eight-month campaign, and Gallipoli has become a defining symbol of courage and comradeship for the two nations.
During the service, prayers were read by school children and the Last Post was sounded. At the conclusion a haka was performed by the London Maori Club.
At lunchtime, Prince Harry laid a wreath at The Cenotaph on Whitehall on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, remembering Anzac servicemen and women who have served their nations in times of war.
Prince Harry lays a wreath on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen at the Cenotaph, as we remember the servicemen and women of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who have served their nation in times of war #ANZACDay pic.twitter.com/aFx37K1tgw
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 25, 2018
Harry and Meghan were then joined by The Duke of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey for a service of commemoration and thanksgiving. The Duke, who became a father for the third time only 48 hours previously, warmly greeted his soon to be sister-in-law with a kiss to the cheek.
Greeting dignitaries in the line up at the doors to the Abbey, William told one who asked about his new son’s name that it was a “strong name”, and when one dignitary suggested ‘Alexander’, the Prince replied, “funny you should say that!”
Asked how mother and baby are, William answered: “They’re very well thanks.”
The second in line to the throne added that they are “in good form, luckily”, and said: “Sleeping’s going reasonably well so far, so he’s behaving himself which is good news.”
It is anticipated that the announcement of the Cambridge’s third child’s name will come anytime now.
For fashion info on the day, head to our sister site Replicate Royalty.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the ANZAC Day service at Westminster Abbey today pic.twitter.com/KHAVOVzWsC
— Victoria Murphy (@QueenVicMirror) April 25, 2018