Prince Harry's Request to Have Wreath Laid at London Remembrance Day Ceremony Turned Down by Palace
Prince Harry asked to have a wreath of poppies laid at the national memorial to those servicemen and women who have fallen, but it was turned down.
It is another sign of how much Harry, who served in the Army for 10 years, rising to the rank of Captain and undertaking two tours of duty in Afghanistan, is estranged from the royal family. He and Meghan Markle stepped back from royal duties in March.
Harry’s request was turned down by courtiers because he no longer represents the family, The Sunday Times, which broke the story, reported.
A representative for the Duke of Sussex, 36, declined to comment. Buckingham Palace reps had no comment.
Harry 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.
Harry and Meghan, 39, also laid flowers and a wreath at the Los Angeles National Cemetery on Sunday. The couple laid flowers that Meghan 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."
Since standing down from the working Royal Family, Harry 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.
And he says that as a father to 1-year-old Archie, he aims to channel the same values instilled in him during his ten-year military career in his civilian life.
“Service is what happens in the quiet and in the chaos. It's what happens in the darkness, it’s what happens when people aren't looking. It’s what happens on and off the battlefield. It's about carrying out our duty as soldiers,” Harry said. “For me as a father, a husband and as a human being, it’s about how we uphold these values in every aspect of our lives.”