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Prince Harry reveals touching reason why he wears a poppy

The Duke of Sussex spoke to military podcast, Declassified

Jenni McKnight

He may be unable to visit the Cenotaph and Westminster Abbey’s Field of Remembrance this year, but the Duke of Sussex is still marking Remembrance Sunday from his home in America.

Prince Harry revealed the touching reason why he proudly wears a poppy, as he emphasised the importance of Remembrance Sunday during an appearance on the military podcast, Declassified.

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Harry, who spent ten years in the armed forces, described the day as "a moment for respect and for hope".

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He said: “The act of remembering, of remembrance, is a profound act of honour. It’s how we preserve the legacies of entire generations and show our gratitude for the sacrifices they made in order for us to be able to live the lives we live today.”

Harry spoke about his experiences and said he cherishes his relationship with veterans, describing coming together as “like meeting an old mate”.

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In previous years, Harry has visited the Cenotaph and Westminster Abbey’s Field of Remembrance

He added: “I wear the poppy to recognise all those who have served; the soldiers I knew, as well as those I didn’t. The soldiers who were by my side in Afghanistan, those who had their lives changed forever, and those that didn’t come home.

“I wear it to celebrate the bravery and determination of all our veterans, and their loved ones, especially those in our Invictus family. These are the people and moments I remember when I salute, when I stand at attention and when I lay a wreath at the Cenotaph.”

Harry created the Invictus Games in 2014 for wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and veterans from around the world to compete in a range of sports.

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Harry spent 10 years in the armed forces

Services for Remembrance Sunday this year are greatly impacted due to COVID-19, with England now in another full lockdown as well as other restrictions in place across the UK.

The government has this year encouraged councils to ensure remembrance services are short, entirely outdoors and held in front of limited numbers.

Harry, who lives in the United States with his wife Meghan and their son Archie, said: “Even when we can’t all be together, we always remember together.”

On the podcast, which documents stories from the military community, the Duke also spoke about his own service which included two tours of Afghanistan. He said: “When I get asked about this period of my life I draw from memories, I draw from what I remember and who I remember.

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Harry did two tours in Afghanistan

“Like the first time we were shot at and who I was with, the casualties we saw, and those we saved. And the first medivac we escorted out of contact in a race against time.

“Once served always serving, no matter what. Being able to wear my uniform, being able to stand up in service of one’s country, these are amongst the greatest honours there are in life.

“To me, the uniform is a symbol of something much bigger, it’s symbolic of our commitment to protecting our country, as well as protecting our values. These values are put in action through service, and service is what happens in the quiet and in the chaos."

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