The Duke of Cambridge has described becoming emotional as he paid tribute to thousands of soldiers killed 100 years ago at Passchendaele.
William said it had been a “teary moment” as he attended the nightly Last Post ceremony on Sunday at the Menin Gate, a century on from the start of the bloody battle on Belgium.
He made the admission on Monday ahead of a major commemoration at the Tyne Cot military cemetery near Ypres, where thousands of British and Commonwealth dead are buried.
Speaking before Monday’s service at the nearby Bedford House Irish cemetery, he told interns escorting relatives around the war : “It was phenomenal – a proper teary moment for me.
“At the end it was so amazing. It was very, very moving.”
The Prince of Wales later spoke of the “courage and bravery” of British soldiers killed at Passchendaele as he led commemorations at Tyne Cot.
A century after thousands of British and Commonwealth troops went “over the top”, Charles, William, Kate and Prime Minister Theresa May joined the King and Queen of Belgium and some 4,000 descendants of those who fought.
In his address to the gathering, Charles said: “We remember it not only for the rain that fell, the mud that weighed down the living and swallowed the dead, but also for the courage and bravery of the men who fought here.
“In 1920, the war reporter Philip Gibbs – who had himself witnessed Third Ypres – wrote that ‘nothing that has been written is more than the pale image of the abomination of those battlefields, and that no pen or brush has yet achieved the picture of that Armageddon in which so many of our men perished.’
“Drawn from many nations, we come together in their resting place, cared for with such dedication by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, to commemorate their sacrifice and to promise that we will never forget.”
More than 100 days of fighting in the summer and autumn of 1917, starting on July 31, left more than half a million men dead or injured on both sides.
The Tyne Cot cemetery is the largest Commonwealth burial ground in the world, with 11,971 servicemen buried and remembered there – 8,373 of whom are unidentified.
Kate, dressed in a peach-coloured outfit, then joined Belgian Queen Mathilde and German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel in laying wreaths at the graves of four German soldiers buried in Tyne Cot.