It has been announced that The Prince of Wales and his son, Prince Harry, will both give a reading when they attend services in Turkey commemorating the Gallipoli Campaign and Anzac Day. Prince Charles will give his reading at the centenary Anzac dawn service in Gallipoli whilst Prince Harry will speak at the Australian service at Lone Pine later in the day.
The Prince of Wales and Prince Harry will arrive in Istanbul on April 23rd, Clarence House announced on Wednesday, before attending the international and Commonwealth services at Gallipoli the following day. Prince Harry will be taking time out of his month-long attachment to the Australian military to accompany his father at the Gallipoli commemorations.
The Battle for Gallipoli was fought between February 1915 and January 1916 when the British military decided to mount a naval expedition to bombard and take the Gallipoli Peninsula on the western shores of the Dardanelles, Constantinople being its
primary objective. The British thought that by taking Constantinople, they would link up with the Russians, knock Turkey out of the war and hopefully persuade the Balkan states to join the allies.
Both Prince Charles and Prince Harry will be present at the joint Australia and New Zealand dawn service on Anzac Day itself at North Beach. A brief statement from Clarence House reads, “The Prince of Wales will give a reading and lay a wreath. Prince Harry will attend.”
Anzac Day is one of Australia’s and New Zealand’s most important national occasions and marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. The forces landed at Gallipoli on 25th April but were met with fierce opposition from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. The news of the Gallipoli landings had a profound effect on all the people back home and 25th April soon became the day when the sacrifices of Australian and New Zealand forces were remembered. Although the Gallipoli Campaign failed in its military objectives, the campaign left a powerful legacy in Australia and New Zealand, which is today know as the ‘Anzac legend’.
Both Charles and Harry will attend the Australian-led memorial service at Lone Pine where Charles will lay a wreath and Harry will give his own reading. Here they will meet with Australian war widows at a nearby hotel for breakfast before moving on to Chunuk Bair for a New Zealand commemorative service.
A large number of The Royal Family will be commemorating the Gallipoli Campaign and Anzac Day back home in Britain. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh accompanied by The Duke of Cambridge will attend a wreath laying ceremony at the Cenotaph in London after which Her Majesty and Their Royal Highnesses will travel to Westminster Abbey for a Thanksgiving Service. The Princess Royal will attend the Anzac Dawn Day Service at Wellington Arch with Sir Timothy Lawrence. The Duke of Edinburgh will also attend a wreath laying service at St Paul’s Cathedral.