The Duke of Gloucester led the royal family in commemorating Anzac Day today as he joined Australians and New Zealanders to attend a service in London.
The Queen’s cousin Prince Richard, 77, attended the Dawn Service at the New Zealand Memorial at Hyde Park, which included readings and the Last Post sounded by a bugler.
A haka was also performed, before the Duke was pictured laying a wreath as the event came to a close.
Later, Prince William will take part in a wreath laying ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall followed by a service of commemoration and thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey.
Anzac Day – April 25 – marks the anniversary of the start of the First World War Gallipoli landings, and is a national day of remembrance for Australia and New Zealand.
The Queen’s cousin Prince Richard, 77, attended the Dawn Service at the New Zealand Memorial at London’s Hyde Park Corner, which included readings, the Last Post sounded by a bugler and wreaths laid as it drew to a close
William will lay wreath on behalf of the Queen at the Cenotaph and hundreds will take part in a parade, including members of veterans’ associations, service and ex-service personnel and their families.
Some 300 to 400 former and serving military personnel and their families and members of veterans associations will gather at the Cenotaph for the wreath laying.
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 performed by London-based Ngati Ranana London Maori Club.
It is the latest in a series of commitments the monarch, who turns 96 next week, has missed amid concerns over her health.
A haka was performed during the Dawn Service commemorating Anzac Day at the New Zealand Memorial at Hyde Park Corner earlier today
Thousands of Anzac troops – Australian and New Zealand Army Corps – died in the ill-fated 1915 campaign.
Waves of allied forces launched an amphibious attack on the strategically important Turkish peninsula, which was key to controlling the Dardanelles straits, the crucial route to the Black Sea and Russia.
But the plan backed by Winston Churchill, then first lord of the admiralty, was flawed and the campaign, which faced a heroic defence by the Turks, led to stalemate and withdrawal eight months later.
Its legacy is the celebration of the ‘Anzac spirit’ – courage, endurance, initiative, discipline and mateship – shown by the Antipodean troops.
The Dawn Service at the New Zealand Memorial included readings, the Last Post sounded by a bugler and wreaths laid as it drew to a close
Crowds gathered to attend the Dawn Service earlier today in London. The event has been commemorated in the city since the first anniversary of the Anzac landings when King George V attended a service at Westminster Abbey
Anzac Day has been commemorated in London since the first anniversary of the Anzac landings when King George V attended a service at Westminster Abbey.
Since then, the services have become an important moment for thousands of expatriates and visiting New Zealanders and Australians.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have remembered this ‘gallant comradeship’ in a message released ahead of Anzac Day.
The heir to the throne said in a statement: ‘On this Anzac Day, my wife and I are thinking of all the courageous troops who endured so much in 1915 on the beaches and in the rugged hills of the Gallipoli Peninsula.
Members of the public appeared sombre as they watched the service earlier today at Hyde Park
‘As we pause to reflect on the sacrifice of the Armed Services personnel of Australia and New Zealand in two World Wars, and in other conflicts and peacekeeping operations, our thoughts will also be with those communities around the world who are being torn apart by violence and conflict, and those who are fighting for freedom in the face of oppression.
‘In 1916, one year after the Gallipoli landings, my great-grandfather, King George V, wrote of the first Anzacs: ‘They gave their lives for a supreme cause in gallant comradeship’.
‘One hundred and six years later, gallant comradeship remains a defining mark of the uniformed men and women of New Zealand and Australia.’
During the event, as the sun was rising, a lone Grenadier Guard took his position to watch over the memorial
At the following Westminster Abbey service, the Dean of Westminster will give the address.
There will also be readings from the New Zealand and Australian High Commissioners, prayers will be read by children of each country, and a Maori waiata, or song, performed by the London-based Ngati Ranana.
Meanwhile in Australia, many gathered to pay tribute to servicemen and women for the first time in big numbers since the Covid pandemic began in 2020.
Meanwhile, members of the armed forces took their place at the memorial as the service began this morning
Crowds gathered at the New Zealand memorial, which was unveiled in Hyde Park in 2006, earlier this morning
The moving ceremonies kicked off a day of commemorations 107 years after the Australian and New Zealand forces landed on the shores of Gallipoli during World War I.
This year sees the return of full scale Anzac Day commemorations since 2019 in the wake of Covid-19 restrictions in recent years. It is also the first ceremony to be held since Australia and the US-led Coalition withdrew soldiers from Afghanistan.
Australians gathered at Currumbin on the Gold Coast, Martin Place in Sydney, Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance, the Cenotaph in Brisbane and the Australian War Memorial in Canberra from 4.30am on Monday – as well as at ceremonies across the nation.
Chelsea pensioners were among those who attended the event earlier this morning in London (pictured)