Prince William lays wreath at Australia Memorial as he pays tribute to fallen soldiers on Anzac Day
Prince William has paid tribute to fallen soldiers who made the ‘ultimate sacrifice’ as he laid a wreath at the Australia memorial for Anzac Day.
The Prince of Wales, 40, attended a memorial service at Hyde Park Corner in the early hours of this morning.
The father-of-three looked pensive as he joined representatives from the Australian and New Zealand forces for the poignant service at 5am.
Around 8,700 Australians died during the 1915 Gallipoli campaign, where 75,000 Anzac troops fought in perilous conditions for eight months, in a battle that has defined Australia’s national identity.
Anzac Day has been commemorated in London since the first anniversary of the Anzac landings at Gallipoli when King George V attended a service at Westminster Abbey.
Prince William pictured holding the wreath he lay at the Australia Memorial in Hyde Park Corner in London
Since then, the services have become an important moment for thousands of expatriates and visiting New Zealanders and Australians.
As part of the proceedings, Prince William laid a commemorative wreath on the Australia War memorial in Hyde Park.
He then attached a hand-written message on the wreath to make a personal tribute to Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who died fighting in the Gallipoli campaign from 1915-1916.
The royal wrote: ‘In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.’
After laying the wreath, Prince William bowed his head and took a moment of silence to remember the fallen.
By end of the WWI, over 215,500 Australian soldiers had been killed in combat. Meanwhile, the New Zealand forces also lost over 58,500 men.
Last night, King Charles and Camilla also marked Anzac Day with a Twitter post.
Their statement read: ‘This Anzac Day, we pay tribute to all the men and women in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, who served and died in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.’
The royal father-of-three pictured writing a personal message to attach to his wreath at the dawn service
William’s personal message read: ‘In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.’
The wreath was covered in red poppies as a tribute to the soldiers and featured a red ribbon across the front
Prince William pictured laying the wreath ahead of the memorial service at Westminster Abbey this afternoon
After laying the wreath, Prince William bowed his head and took a moment of silence to remember the fallen soldiers
Later today, the Prince of Wales will attend the annual Anzac Day service at Westminster Abbey.
The traditional church service in the abbey will feature an address by the Dean of Westminster, readings from the New Zealand and Australian high commissioners, prayers read by children of each country, and a Maori waiata performance.
In Australia, events have been held in major cities, suburban centres and country towns honouring men and women who served in past conflicts and those serving today.
At the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese led tributes on the 108th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings during World War I.
‘Every Anzac Day, from the greatest memorial to the simplest cenotaph, we honour all who have served in our name, and all who serve today,’ he said.
‘It is a collective act of remembrance, reflection and gratitude – one carried out by multiple generations of Australians and devoted to multiple generations.’
Prince William was joined by representatives from the Australian and New Zealand forces this morning
Prince William looked pensive as he listened to the memorial service at Hyde Park Corner this morning
The Prince of Wales laid a commemorative wreath on the Australia War memorial in Hyde Park today
Prince William’s appearance came as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were pictured for the first time together at a Lakers game in LA after it was announced the Duchess of Sussex wouldn’t be attending the coronation next month
Last year, Prince William laid a wreath for the Anzac Day ceremony on behalf of The Queen – who was unable to attend due to ill health.
Prince William’s early morning appearance came as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were pictured together for the first time since it was announced Meghan won’t be attending the coronation next month.
Last night, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex took their Archewell staff to watch the Los Angele Lakers beat the Memphis Grizzlies in game four of the NBA playoffs.
The royal couple, who will not be going to the Coronation together next month, were all smiles in a box at the Crypto.com Arena, where they appeared on the jumbotron at the stadium in downtown LA.
Thousands began clapping and cheering, encouraging them to kiss. Harry then appeared to lean in for a smooch but his wife laughed and grabbed his arm instead of bowing to the crowd. Harry then pulled a comical grimace.