Anzac Day: Prince William leads London commemorations

The Duke of Cambridge has taken part in events in London to commemorate Anzac Day, when Australia and New Zealand remember their war dead.

Prince William laid a wreath at the Cenotaph before attending a service at Westminster Abbey.

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

Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the ill-fated Gallipoli landings during World War One.

Thousands of Australians and New Zealanders died in the Turkish campaign, which began on 25 April 1915 before ending in a stalemate.

The duke – wearing a red poppy – was joined by his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, when they joined hundreds of UK-based Australians and New Zealanders for the abbey service.

In his address, the Dean of Westminster, David Hoyle, said the war in Ukraine had echoes of Gallipoli.

He said: “For us, we are now navigating another, nearer landscape of chaos. New names in a long litany of horror – Mariupol, Bucha and Kharkiv.”

The dean went on to say: “In the foxholes of Anzac cove, the bunkers of shattered cities in Ukraine, in the depths of distancing and isolation in the pandemic, we learn again and again what it is to be thrown back on just our human recourses.”

During the service High Commissioner for Australia George Brandis and his New Zealand counterpart, Bede Corry, laid wreaths at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior in the abbey.

The duchess’s attendance was unexpected as she had not previously been due to take part.

But a Kensington Palace spokeswoman said the duchess was able to attend the service “as a result of changes to the diary”.