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Prince Harry gives moving reading of poem at National Memorial Arboretum for Armistice Day

prince harry
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
November 11, 2016
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Prince Harry commemorated Armistice Day on Friday by visiting the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to honour those who have died in war. 

The Prince, 32, observed the two minutes' silence before laying a wreath and giving a reading of Rupert Brooke's poem, The Soldier. He then accompanied the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire Ian Dudson and Lieutenant Colonel David Whimpenny to look at the names on the memorial, including the ten names which were added in 2015.

prince harry© Photo: Getty Images

Prince Harry visited the National Memorial Arboretum

Wearing his Household Calvary No1 uniform with four medals; his KCVO, golden and diamond jubilee medals and Afghan with bar, the Prince chatted to the crowds who were waiting to see an armed forces parade. To one group, he congratulated them on their seats, joking: "You've got front row seats, great spot."

He also engaged with a group of students from Ashperton primary school, asking about their journey to the Memorial Arboretum.

"Are you having a day off school?" he asked. "Who sat on the back seat?! Is that still important? And did you have a sing-song?"

Speaking about meeting the Prince, the students' teacher Mrs Caroline Bullock said: "The children are all from year 6 and they loved him! He's so friendly and lovely.

prince harry 2© Photo: Getty Images

The Prince laid a wreath

"He's got that common touch."

The school's teaching assistant Emma Shelley also spoke about how happy Prince Harry appeared after he recently confirmed his relationship with Suits actress Meghan Markle.

"It's great he's got a new girlfriend," she said. "He seems very happy and upbeat which is fantastic. We wholly support it."

Meghan is currently visiting Prince Harry in London and has been spotted around Kensington Palace. Her trip to the UK followed a heartfelt statement from the fifth-in-line to the throne asking for her privacy to be respected after it was claimed that his girlfriend had been subjected to a "wave of abuse and harassment" following the announcement that the pair were dating.

prince harry 1© Photo: Getty Images

The Prince spoke to the crowds

The statement read: "Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle's safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm.

"He knows commentators will say this is 'the price she has to pay' and that 'this is all part of the game'. He strongly disagrees. This is not a game – it is her life and his."

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