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Royals pay their respects on centenary of Gallipoli

By Tony Jones

Published 11/01/2016

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive for the Sandringham wreath laying ceremony
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive for the Sandringham wreath laying ceremony
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at the service
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh lay a wreath

Prince George thoroughly enjoyed his first day at nursery, the Duchess of Cambridge has told well-wishers as she made a surprise appearance at a Gallipoli anniversary ceremony.

Kate and William joined the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at a wreath laying service held at a war memorial on the monarch's Sandringham estate.

The Cambridges were not scheduled to attend the ceremony which marked the 100th anniversary of the end of the disastrous First World War campaign on the Gallipoli peninsula.

But after attending a traditional Sunday service at Sandringham's St Mary Magdalene Church with the Queen and Philip, they walked behind the monarch to the nearby war memorial cross.

Hundreds of local residents turned out for the event where prayers were said and a minute's silence observed, and afterwards the royal party chatted to members of the Gallipoli Association.

The Cambridges have had a busy week releasing pictures, taken by Kate, of son Prince George to mark his first day at nursery and celebrating the Duchess' 34th birthday yesterday. Kate, who wore a black polo neck jumper and tweed blazer and skirt by Michael Kors, was joined at church by her parents Michael and Carole Middleton and siblings sister Pippa and brother James, but they did not accompany the royal to the Gallipoli service.

After the ceremony the Duke and Duchess spoke to Arthur Coxon (88), a retired Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander whose father fought in Gallipoli and spent much of the First World War in a Turkish prisoner of war camp after being captured.

Mr Coxon said: "They asked what my connection with the association was and I congratulated Kate on the lovely photos of Prince George.

"She said he went off to school bravely as anything and thoroughly enjoyed it."

During the ceremony the Queen and Philip, who is patron of the Gallipoli Association, stood still as the Last Post was played by a bugler and a minute's silence was observed.

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