The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the Commemoration and Thanksgiving Service for Anzac Day at Westminster Abbey. Initially, only the Duke was scheduled to attend the engagement but due to some diary changes, The Duchess of Cambridge was able to join her husband at the last minute.
ANZAC Day is the anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey by allied forces on 25th April 1915. What followed was one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War, with heavy casualties sustained on both sides. Australian and New Zealand forces fought for the first time under a united command as the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, or, more famously, the ANZACs. Casualties at Gallipoli amounted to almost 9,000 Australians killed and in excess of 19,000 wounded. For New Zealand, near to 3,000 lost their lives and over 5,000 were wounded.
The day remembers the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who died during the landings and honors the sacrifices of men and women in all wars, conflicts, and peace-keeping operations. The Day has been marked in London since King George V attended the first service commemorating the first anniversary of the landing at Westminster Abbey with more than 2,000 Australian and New Zealand troops marching through the streets. Since then every year a service is held at the Abbey to mark the day with Australia and New Zealand observing a public holiday.
A wreath is laid at the Cenotaph on the morning of Anzac day to pay tribute to the fallen. Prince William attended the morning service before the thanksgiving service at the Westminster Abbey. In recent years, the procession of the flags of Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom through the Abbey, alongside that of Turkey, has become an important part of the annual service, and a poignant symbol of reconciliation. The flags are carried by members of the armed forces of each country, before being presented at the High Altar.
Today’s Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving to mark ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day will begin at Noon.
— Westminster Abbey (@wabbey) April 25, 2022
The very moving words of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first President of Turkey from 1923 to 38 are ready by the Turkish Ambassador to the UK at the service followed by a wreath-laying by the High Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand. From Westminster Abbey,
“Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives… you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours… You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well” –
Prince Charles of Wales sent a message to Australia and New Zealand in which he said, “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“.
This was the third time The Duchess has attended the Anzac Day service. She first attended during the Australia tour in 2014. Then in 2019 with The Duke of Sussex while William was visiting New Zealand.
For the service, The Duchess of Cambridge was wearing her Alexander McQueen coat that she first wore at the christening of Princess Charlotte in 2015.
The Duchess again wore the coat at the 2016 Trooping the Colour parade and then in 2017 at the centenary of the first day of Passchendaele.
The Duchess of Cambridge’s today’s outfit was a tribute to many events in its own way. The white outfit from Charlotte’s christening and Charlotte will be 7 next week. A white look reminds us of The Royal wedding 2011 which will be 11 years old this weekend. A brooch and a poppy pay tributes to the fallen heroes.
The Duchess today paired the outfit with Jane Taylor Calypso Halo Headband. Thanks to Heaven Lee on Twitter for the id.
Catherine was wearing Princess Diana’s Collingwood Pearl and Diamond Earrings.
Other notable elements of the outfit were Flanders RSA NZ Poppy (thanks to Natasha and Lauren for the id)
with a possible Robinson Pelham Maidenhair Fern brooch. (Thanks to CoutureRoyals for the notes). Read more about the significance of the brooch and how it linked to New Zealand and Catherine’s sister Pippa Middleton here.
Catherine paired the look with her black Gianvito Rossi 105 suede pumps
and carried Jenny Packham Roxy Clutch.
After Prince Louis’ 4th birthday celebrations last weekend, this week is going to be another celebration at the Cambridge household. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be celebrating their 11th wedding anniversary. Next, we will see the Duchess on Wednesday when she will join Princess Royal for a rare joint engagement and will visit RCoG and RCM.