Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Kate and William pay tribute to Britain’s heroes

7 November 2019, 14:19 | Updated: 7 November 2019, 15:13

By Asher McShane

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have paid tribute to the nation’s war dead in a poignant ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

Harry and Meghan honoured the servicemen and women who had given their lives for the country by planting tiny crosses in the Field of Remembrance.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also honoured the heroes of Britain today when they met people affected by disasters in the UK including the Grenfell Tower fire, Manchester bombing and flooding in Cumbria.

At the Westminster Abbey service, Meghan and Harry each planted a Cross of Remembrance, paying respect to those have served in our Armed Forces.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Westminster Abbey today
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Westminster Abbey today. Picture: PA

They later met with veterans and family members from all areas of the armed forces.

The Duchess of Sussex is said to have been "grateful to be able to join her husband on this important day" and to "personally recognise those who have served."

Prince Harry wore his ceremonial uniform, while Meghan was dressed in a winter coat, Philip Tracy hat and Victoria Beckham boots.

Meghan Markle at the service today
Meghan Markle at the service today. Picture: PA

William said that donations and support after the Grenfell Tower fire "seemed like it wasn't well targeted", during a meeting with victims.

View this post on Instagram

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined hundreds of veterans and their families at the 91st Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey, to honour and remember those who lost their lives in service of the country. Their Royal Highnesses each planted a Cross of Remembrance, paying respect to those have served in our Armed Forces. They were then honoured to spend time meeting with veterans and family members from all areas of the Armed forces - from those who have served in past campaigns to more recent conflicts. This is the seventh time The Duke has attended the Field of Remembrance – having previously accompanied The Duke of Edinburgh for several years. The Duchess of Sussex was grateful to be able to join her husband on this important day and to personally recognise those who have served. #remembrance #lestweforget

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

William said: "It takes so long to get back to normal again.

"Following Grenfell there was a huge outpouring of support but it seems like it wasn't well targeted."

The Duchess of Cambridge at the launch of the National Emergencies Trust at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square
The Duchess of Cambridge at the launch of the National Emergencies Trust at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square. Picture: PA

William, along with his grandmother, the Queen, visited the site in west London in the days following the fire in June 2017.

Natasha Elcock, chairwoman of Grenfell United, was one of the last people rescued alive from the fire, and she told William and Kate: "So many people sent clothes and food, but at the time we had absolutely no place to put them.

"No home, no cupboard, and no fridge."

Prince William met with Grenfell survivors today
Prince William met with Grenfell survivors today. Picture: PA

Kate also demonstrated her support, adding: "It's not the support provided at the time, but how it's continued in the future."

The royals met the victims at the launch of new charity, the National Emergencies Trust (NET).

In a speech following their private meeting, William said: "I'm impressed about how willing the charity sector has been to learn the lessons from previous responses, and to ensure that the quickest and most appropriate support is offered to those affected."

He added: "It has been humbling to speak to survivors of the London Bridge and Manchester attacks, the Cumbria floods, the Grenfell Tower fire and other disasters here in the UK.

"Their stories are as heartbreaking as they are inspiring."

Survivors welcomed the Cambridges' input.

Karim Mussilhy lost relatives in the fire, and said of the duke and duchess: "You can tell they've taken a big interest, not only in our tragedy, but making sure that when something like this does happen again, there is something in place for the survivors."

He described the fire's aftermath as "really chaotic in the early days.

"We had all of these great donations from people all across the country and people were really, really generous, but it wasn't being co-ordinated by anybody."

NET has been established following the numerous disasters in 2017, and aims to manage fundraising and distribution more efficiently following emergencies.

Chaired by cross-bench peer Lord Dannatt, the organisation will launch national appeals on TV and social media in the event of crises, and then allocate and distribute money to those affected.

Happening Now