Prince William marked Anzac Day by paying tribute to the Australian and New Zealand war dead at a poignant dawn service in London.
The Prince of Wales laid a wreath of red poppies and white flowers at Wellington Arch, Hyde Park Corner, where he was joined by hundreds of Australians, New Zealanders, and military personnel. The message on the Prince's wreath read: “In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.”
Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance for Australia and New Zealand, marking the anniversary of the start of the First World War Gallipoli landings. The day has taken place every year since 1916 and stands for all soldiers of those nations involved in military conflict.
During the service, the High Commissioner for Australia Stephen Smith and his New Zealand counterpart Phil Goff also laid wreaths. The commemorative service is held at dawn, the time of the original landing in Gallipoli. Digeridoo music was played, as well as The Last Post, a bugle call that signifies the end of the day's activities and is traditionally played at military funerals.
The Prince of Wales wore a red poppy during the service and bowed briefly to the wreath before standing in silent tribute for a few moments. The service also marked the contributions of First Nations people, indigenous Australians and Maori, which Mr Smith acknowledged in his remarks.
“We now take the opportunity on Anzac day to commemorate all Australians and New Zealanders who made a contribution not just in Gallipoli, but throughout those conflicts,” Mr Smith said. “The day of commemoration has also grown to acknowledge not just the contribution made by those millions of men and women, but also to reflect upon the values and virtues of character of diversity.”
The service was a solemn reminder of the sacrifices made by those who fought for their countries, and of the importance of continuing to honor their memory. The wreath-laying ceremony was a touching tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of their nations.