Prince William visibly moved as he lays wreath at dawn service to mark Anzac Day

The Prince of Wales commemorated Australia and New Zealand’s war dead in a dawn service marking Anzac Day on Tuesday.

Hundreds of Australians, New Zealanders, and military personnel watched as William laid a wreath of red poppies and white flowers at Wellington Arch, Hyde Park Corner in London. 

The message on the wreath read: “In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.”

He wore a red poppy during the service, and bowed briefly to the wreath before standing in silent tribute for a few moments.

During the service High Commissioner for Australia Stephen Smith and his New Zealand counterpart Phil Goff also laid wreaths.

Digeridoo music was played as well as The Last Post.

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.

Thousands of Anzac troops, Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, died alongside British allies 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 a stalemate and withdrawal eight months later.

Anzac Day has taken place every year since 1916 and now also stands for all soldiers of those nations involved in military conflict.

The commemorative service is held at dawn, the time of the original landing in Gallipoli.

During the service, Mr Smith also marked the contributions of First Nations people, indigenous Australians and Maori.

He said: “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.

“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.

“We have grown throughout that period of time, and now come to reflect the values and virtues and characteristics of both Australia and New Zealand.”

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Anzac day falls just a couple of days after Prince Louis's birthday, with the youngster recently turning five.

To mark Louis' fifth birthday, the Royal Family shared sweet new photographs of the young prince grinning at the camera while sporting a blue knitted jumper and shirt.


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