Meghan and Harry meet veterans at poignant ceremony commemorating war dead

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex hugged the families of veterans and joked with older soldiers as they commemorated the nation’s war dead during a poignant Westminster Abbey ceremony.

Harry and Meghan visited the Abbey’s Field of Remembrance to lay miniature crosses in memory of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and observe a two-minute silence as the chimes of Big Ben faded in the background.

The couple, who were missing the Duchess of Cornwall absent due to ill health, toured hundreds of plots in the grounds of the Abbey where regiments, military associations and other organisations had laid out their crosses.

They chatted to everyone from D-Day veterans to those who served in more recent conflicts and shared a hug with Poppie Hutton, aged eight, from Armagh, Northern Ireland, who was with her grandparents at the plot for the Royal Irish Regiment.

Andrea McMahon, the military unit’s assistant regimental secretary, said: “We asked Meghan about motherhood and she said her son Archie was six months old and said the experience was wonderful and she was really enjoying it, and having a great time.

“Poppie was hoping to get cuddles from them and we knew how much Harry loves children and when we explained that she wanted a hug they both came over and did it.”

Wooden crosses at the Field of Remembrance
Wooden crosses at the Field of Remembrance (Steve Parsons/PA)

Harry also chatted to his great-grand mother’s former driver Arthur Barty, who was representing a plot for his former unit The Black Watch.

Mr Barty, who had driven the Queen Mother for 27 years until her death in 2002, said: “I covered almost 100,000 miles with the Queen Mother.

“I never thought for a minute I would meet His Royal Highness or Her Royal Highness but it was an absolute pleasure to chat to them.”

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