Duke of Sussex says Remembrance Sunday is ‘profound act of honour’

By Jess Glass, PA
·3-min read

The Duke of Sussex has emphasised the importance of Remembrance Sunday during an appearance on a military podcast to mark the event.

Harry, who spent 10 years in the armed forces, described the day as “a moment for respect and for hope”, in an interview with the Declassified podcast.

He said: “The act of remembering, of remembrance, is a profound act of honour. It’s how we preserve the legacies of entire generations and show our gratitude for the sacrifices they made in order for us to be able to live the lives we live today.”

In previous years, the duke has marked the day with visits to the Cenotaph and Westminster Abbey’s Field of Remembrance.

Royals at the Field of Remembrance
As senior royals, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

Harry spoke about his experiences and said he cherishes his relationship with veterans, describing coming together as “like meeting an old mate”.

He added: “I wear the poppy to recognise all those who have served; 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.”

Harry created the Invictus Games in 2014 for wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and veterans from around the world to compete in a range of sports.

Armistice Day 2020
Cleaners at the Cenotaph on Whitehall in Westminster as preparations continue ahead of Remembrance Sunday (Yui Mok/PA)

Services for Remembrance Sunday this year are greatly impacted due to the pandemic, with a full lockdown in England and other restrictions in place across the UK.

The UK Government has this year encouraged councils to ensure remembrance services are short, entirely outdoors and held in front of limited numbers.

The Duke of Sussex, who lives in the United States with his wife Meghan and their son Archie, said: “Even when we can’t all be together, we always remember together.”

On the podcast, which documents stories from the military community, the duke also spoke about his own service which included two tours of Afghanistan.

Prince Harry tour of duty in Afghanistan
Prince Harry races out from the VHR tent to scramble his Apache at Camp Bastion, southern Afghanistan in 2012 (John Stillwell/PA)

He said: “When I get asked about this period of my life I draw from memories, I draw from what I remember and who I remember.

“Like the first time we were shot at and who I was with, the casualties we saw, and those we saved. And the first medivac we escorted out of contact in a race against time.

“Once served always serving, no matter what.

“Being able to wear my uniform, being able to stand up in service of one’s country, these are amongst the greatest honours there are in life.

“To me, the uniform is a symbol of something much bigger, it’s symbolic of our commitment to protecting our country, as well as protecting our values.

“These values are put in action through service, and service is what happens in the quiet and in the chaos.”