William and Kate attended two Anzac Day ceremonies honoring Australia’s war dead, a pre-dawn service and then one in mid-morning, both at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
A royal source said they both felt it was appropriate they should be at the 5am service, which was attended by thousands and was presented by Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith – who attended a party at Government House with the Royal couple on Thursday night.
At the early morning service, the Duke and Duchess stood atop the stairs next to Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lynne Cosgrove and joined in the hymns.
Some sat with candles, while William, Kate and the others in the official party had small flash lights to read the order of service.
The Duchess of Cambridge wrapped up in a somber black, three-quarter length buttoned up ‘Noa’ coat that featured a subtle quilting design by Temperley London.
You may recall that Kate wore this frock to Remembrance Sunday services in November 2013.
Completing her outfit, the Duchess wore black tights, black heels, black leather gloves, an ivory scarf and her diamond and sapphire earrings. She also wore a sprig of rosemary pinned to her lapel. The significance of this, according to The Daily Mail, is because it was found growing in abundance on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, where 11,430 Australians and New Zealanders, represented unparalleled slaughter for the young nations.
Later in the morning William and Kate attended the main Anzac Day ceremony. Anzac Day is Australia’s most significant anniversary. It commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars and conflicts.
As tens of thousands of people across the two nations came to a standstill, serving military veterans, including Australia’s four surviving Victoria Cross recipients marched past William standing alongside Australia’s Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove, who took his place as the Queen’s representative in the country.
Hymns were sung and the Royal couple laid a wreath of red poppies. They then bowed their heads at the Stone of Remembrance.
Following the wreath laying, the Duke and Duchess walked the short distance to the memorial’s Hall of Memory where they laid small posies of rosemary and Australian native plants including Kangaroo Paw on the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier.
After respects at the tomb of the unknown soldier were paid, William and Kate toured the corridor inscribed with the names of those who died in The First World War.
The couple then signed their names in the visitors’ books and planted an Aleppo Pine sapling derived from seeds gathered after the battle of Lone Pine.
Produced in cooperation with the Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation Collection.