With Remembrance Day just around the corner, Prince Harry and Queen Elizabeth each led separate commemoration events in London. The 30-year-old Prince helped open the 86th Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey on Thursday while his grandmother opened the Flanders Fields Memorial Garden at Wellington Barracks.
Remembrance Sunday is celebrated throughout the Commonwealth as a way to honor and remember fallen veterans. Last year Prince Harry opened the same event with his grandfather Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Prince Harry holds the rank of captain in the army
As Harry is an esteemed member of the army — holding the rank of captain — he attended the ceremony in full military attire. He looked visibly moved as he laid a Cross of Remembrance in memory of the thousands killed in World Wars I and II. The cross, composed of poppies, was set in front of two additional wooden crosses that symbolize the graves of unknown British soldiers.
When Harry gave a salute, the Last Post was sounded, followed by a traditional two-minute silence. The Prince continued his royal duty by visiting plots of fallen soldiers and shaking hands with war veterans.
Prince Harry was tasked with opening the 86th Field of Remembrance
In the crowd was Lisa McKinlay, the widow of Lance Corporal Jonathan McKinlay, who died in Afghanistan in 2011 while serving with the 1st Battalion The Rifles.
"Harry was saying how nice it was to see the names on all the crosses," Lisa told The Telegraph. "He knows about The Rifles and everything they do, and was saying how much support they give to their families."
The widow was one of the attendees who had the chance to meet the young Prince. "He said you have to strike a balance between spending your time remembering what has happened and moving forward with your job and family."
Prince Harry met war veterans and members of the public at Westminster Abbey
Across town, the Queen attended the opening of the Flanders Fields Memorial Garden held in honor of those killed at Flanders at the Wellington Barracks. She was joined by her husband Prince Philip, as well as Prince William and King Philippe of the Belgians.
The 88-year-old monarch and King Philippe laid wreaths in the garden and took time to pray for the fallen veterans.