Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Visit Los Angeles Cemetery on Remembrance Day
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex each laid flowers and a wreath at the Los Angeles National Cemetery on Sunday
While the rest of the Royal Family did so at the ceremony in London, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited the L.A. cemetery to honor war heroes on the annual event.
The couple laid flowers that Meghan, 39, picked from their garden at the gravesites of two commonwealth soldiers, one who had served in the Royal Australian Air Force and one from the Royal Canadian Artillery.
They also placed a wreath at an obelisk in the cemetery that features a plaque that's inscribed, "In Memory of the Men Who Offered Their Lives in Defense of Their Country."
“To all of those who have served, and are serving. Thank you,” Harry signed a message with the wreath.
When in the close vicinity of other people, The Duke and Duchess both wore masks, but removed them when on their own or at a distance.
Across from the cemetery is the US Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Health Care System, where Meghan's grandfather, Alvin Ragland, went to after serving in the U.S. Coast Guard.
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While Harry asked to have a wreath of poppies laid at the national memorial to those servicemen and women who have fallen, his request was turned down by courtiers because he no longer represents the family, The Sunday Times, which broke the story, reported. (Harry and Meghan stepped back from royal duties in March).
Harry, who served in the British army for ten years and went on two tours of Afghanistan in that time, would have been in the U.K. in this period of remembrance if the coronavirus pandemic hadn’t hit all travel plans. And he would have made a tribute of his own alongside some of his military comrades, sources have told PEOPLE.
Instead, he took part in a podcast with other veterans talking about what his uniform meant to him, and poignantly reminisced about what goes through his mind as he stands at the main British memorial to fallen troops.
Since standing down from the working Royal Family, he has been living in California. But the military community is very much on his mind on this most special weekend in Britain as the sacrifices of millions of service people are remembered.
In the podcast Declassified, released late on Saturday, Harry spoke about the British tradition of wearing a poppy in tribute to veterans and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and said he does so for “the soldiers I knew, as well as those I didn't. The soldiers who were by my side in Afghanistan, those who had their lives changed forever, and those that didn't come home."
“I wear it to celebrate the bravery and determination of all our veterans, and their loved ones, especially those in our Invictus family. These are the people and moments I remember when I salute, when I stand at attention and when I lay a wreath at the Cenotaph,” he shared.