Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have marked Remembrance Day with a visit to the Los Angeles National Cemetery after the prince’s request to have a wreath laid at the London ceremony was reportedly knocked back.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex laid flowers picked from their Santa Barbara garden on the graves of two Commonwealth soldiers – one an Australian – to mark the solemn day on Sunday (local time).
It came just hours after Prince Harry’s grandmother, father and brother played pivotal roles in a similar ceremony at London’s Cenotaph. Prince Charles laid a wreath for the Queen and one for himself, while Prince William also left a tribute.
Harry, who served 10 years in the British army, reportedly asked to have a wreath of poppies laid at the British national memorial to fallen servicemen and women, but his request was turned down.
Britain’s Sunday Times said courtiers denied the request because Harry no longer represents the royal family. The Sussexes played important parts in the 2019 London ceremony, but stepped back from royal duties in March.
The newspaper said Harry was “deeply saddened” by the snub.
Instead, on Sunday, he and Meghan headed to the Los Angeles National Cemetery to lay flowers on the grave of an Royal Australian Air Force serviceman and a second bunch on a Royal Canadian Artillery member’s grave.
With Harry wearing his medals and the Duchess in a sombre black coat, they also placed a wreath at an obelisk. Both also wore face masks, although they removed them when they were at a safe distance from other people.
Back in London, the Queen donned a face mask in public for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic for a brief ceremony at Westminster Abbey to mark the centenary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior.
While the 94-year-old monarch has been seen in public on several occasions in recent months, she had not been pictured wearing a face covering until now.
On Wednesday, during her first public engagement in London since March, she wore a black mask that was edged with white. Pictures of the ceremony were officially released late on Saturday.
The brief service was attended by just the dean and the Queen’s equerry, Lieutenant Colonel Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah.
The Queen left a bouquet of orchids and myrtle, based on her own wedding bouquet from November 1947. She bowed her head after a prayer from the dean.
She had requested a ceremony take place as the pandemic had derailed plans for the centenary of the interment of the Unknown Warrior.
The grave is the final resting place of an unidentified British soldier who died during World War I. His body was brought back from Northern France and buried at Westminster Abbey on November 11, 1920.