Their Royal Highnesses, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Harry visited the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey this morning, Thursday 10 November 2016.
Arriving at the Field of Remembrance Prince Philip, who served in the Royal Navy in the Second World War and Prince Harry, who spent more than a decade in the British Army including two frontline tours in Afghanistan, were met by the Dean of Westminster, members of The Royal British Legion and the President of the Royal British Legion Poppy Factory.
Prince Philip was in his Royal Navy day ceremonial and overcoat and Prince Harry was in his No.1 dress uniform of the Blues and Royals as they each laid a Cross of Remembrance with their personal insignia on it in front of two wooden crosses which came from the Graves of Unknown British Soldiers from the First and Second World Wars.
After the sounding of the ‘Last Post’ by a Welsh Guards bandsman the gathered crowd observed two minutes of silence. Following this symbolic sign of remembrance Their Royal Highnesses visited the plots of poppies and met with veterans of all ages from past and recent conflicts, who they spoke with for over an hour.
Prince Harry spoke with Don Sheppard, 94, who was a Sapper with the Royal Engineers and landed on Juno Beach on D-Day in 1944. Mr Sheppard was representing the Normandy Veteran’s Association today and said of the Field of Remembrance: ‘It’s so important to do this to so that the younger generation can see what we have done.’ Prince Harry also spoke with a young boy who was proudly displaying the medals of his uncle, Lt. Aaron Lewis, who was killed in action in 2008 in Afghanistan.
Organised each year by the Royal British Legion, the first Field of Remembrance was held in November 1928 when two Remembrance Tribute Crosses were planted in the grounds of Westminster Abbey. Though modest to begin with, the tradition took root and has grown significantly in the decades since, becoming an integral part of the nation’s tribute to the fallen.
Every one of the 60,000 Remembrance Tribute is marked with a personal message to an individual who has lost his or her life in the Service of the United Kingdom.