You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Prince Harry leads UK Anzac commemorations

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 25/04/2016 Nina Massey

London has marked a century of Anzac Day commemorations with Prince Harry leading tributes that began at dawn.

He laid a wreath at Wellington Arch on Monday as the sun rose in front of gathered expatriate and visiting New Zealanders and Australians.

Thousands of people waited in the cold and dark before the start of proceedings at Hyde Park corner, which featured hymns, prayers and readings from various dignitaries.

"When we reflect on Anzac Day we imagine the Gallipoli landings, what it must have been like, at dawn on the water, in sight of that rugged shoreline - and a collectively held breath, a leaden silence about to be broken, said Alexander Downer, Australian high commissioner to the UK, addressing the crowds.

"We consider the enthusiasm, the courage, and the heroism of the Anzac troops - ordinary men fighting for God, King and empire, for their mates, for adventure, for a world without war."

Anzac Day has been commemorated in the capital since the first anniversary of the Anzac landings at Gallipoli in 1916, when King George V attended a service at Westminster Abbey.

Since then, the services have become an important moment for thousands of New Zealanders and Australians, who honour the sacrifices of their countrymen and women in all wars.

The day's events concluded at the historic church with a commemoration and thanksgiving service.

It was led by the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, the Dean of Westminster, and incorporated an Act of Remembrance and a reading of Kemal Ataturk's words from Anzac Cove by the Turkish Ambassador to the UK, Abdurrahman Bilgic.

Harry sat at the front of the abbey, listening to the readings and in participating in the hymns and prayers.

Earlier he attended a ceremony at the Cenotaph, where he laid a wreath on behalf of the Queen.

Up to 400 people took part in the parade, including members of veterans' associations, service and ex-service personnel and their families.

Crowds lined the streets to watch the ceremony which and fell silent to mark one minute of silence after the Last Post was sounded.

Schoolchildren from Australia and New Zealand read prayers at each service, and the national anthems of the UK, Australia and New Zealand were also featured.

Prince Harry lays a wreath on Anzac Day at Wellington Arch in London, Britain April 25, 2016. © Reuters Prince Harry lays a wreath on Anzac Day at Wellington Arch in London, Britain April 25, 2016.
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon