Belfast Telegraph

Harry pays respects in Armistice Day remembrance service

Prince Harry has led the country in remembering the fallen on Armistice Day, laying a wreath at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Harry, 32, attended a remembrance service at the Armed Forces Memorial alongside veterans and representatives of the Army, Royal Navy and RAF.

After paying his respects, he read aloud the words of The Soldier by First World War poet Rupert Brooke.

Harry served for 10 years in the Army and was twice deployed to Afghanistan.

The prince was joined by hundreds of old soldiers and the loved ones left behind to mourn the dead, observing the silence in the chill autumn sunshine, in a mirror of services held across the country.

Lieutenant Colonel David Whimpenny, chairman of the National Memorial Arboretum and trustee of its parent charity The Royal British Legion, said: "Today, led by Prince Harry, we paid tribute to the servicemen and women that have sacrificed their lives for their country, from the First World War to the current day."

Afterwards, Harry was shown some of the 16,000 names carved into the Portland Stone of the cream-coloured memorial commemorating those who have fallen on active service since 1948.

He took his time as he walked past the rows upon rows of names, pausing by those who had died in 2015 and during the Falklands War in 1982.

Later, the crowd applauded as Harry took the salute from a parade of serving and former servicemen and servicewomen.

Afterwards, he noticed a group of schoolchildren standing opposite the parade dais, who had made the trip from Herefordshire, and went across to say hello.

The 23 children, from Ashperton Primary School near Ledbury, chatted away with the smiling prince, who asked them "who sat on the back seat of the coach?"

Harry then bid them farewell, adding: "Enjoy it, make the most of the sunshine."

Teacher Caroline Bullock, who said the youngsters had been studying battles in class, said: "He's so lovely, he makes the royal family normal, and he's so approachable."

The school group were also supportive of the prince's relationship with US actress Meghan Markle, with teaching assistant Emma Shelley, saying: "If he's happy, then what's the problem?"

Ms Markle, who stars in the hit series Suits, recently travelled to London to see the prince, according to The Sun.

Later, he spoke to a 98-year-old Second World War veteran who the Prince observed had earlier decided to "ditch the wheelchair" for the parade when he marched proudly alongside other veterans.

He told the old soldier: "It's a privilege to meet you."

Elsewhere, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn paid his respects along with hundreds of other people at the Cenotaph in central Manchester.

In Eastbourne, East Sussex, shoppers broke out into a spontaneous round of applause after observing the two-minute silence at the Arndale Centre.

Meanwhile, in Belfast, up to 1,000 people gathered for a two-minute silence in the Garden of Remembrance at the City Hall.

Democratic Unionist Lord Mayor Brian Kingston and Sinn Fein Deputy Lord Mayor Mary Ellen Campbell were among those who took part in the low-key event.

First Minister Arlene Foster had paused to reflect at the war memorial in Enniskillen during a separate service.

In Edinburgh, a cannon was fired at the castle to signal the start of the two-minute silence while in Glasgow a service was held at the cenotaph in George Square.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon did not attend an event but marked the two-minute silence in private and will take part in a Remembrance Sunday service.

In Leeds, hundreds also gathered for a service at the city's Cenotaph.

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