William and Kate, who wore red poppies, were greeted Westminster Abbey dean of Westminster and joined hundreds of guests from the communities of Australia and New Zealand in the UK.
Anzac Day – April 25 – marks the anniversary of the beginning of the First World War in Gallipoli and is the national day of remembrance of Australia and New Zealand.
Thousands of Anzac troops – Australian and New Zealand army corps – died along with British allies in the ill-fated 1915 campaign.
Waves of Allied troops launched a landing attack on the strategically important Turkish peninsula, which was key to controlling the Dardanelles, a crucial route to the Black Sea and Russia.
But the plan, backed by Winston Churchill, then the first lord of the Admiralty, was a mistake, and the campaign, which faced heroic protection from the Turks, led to a stalemate and retreat eight months later.
His legacy is a celebration of the “spirit of Anzac” – courage, endurance, initiative, discipline and camaraderie – manifested by armies of antipodes.
In his address, the dean, Rev. David Hoyle, told those gathered, including Turkey’s ambassador to Britain, that the war in Ukraine has changed our perspective on Gallipoli.
He said: “Even for us, going back on earth, choosing the way back to 1915 and the Dardanelles, there are difficulties. Because for us now we are guided by another, closer landscape of chaos. New names in a long litany of horror – Mariupol, Bucha and Kharkiv.
“We are re-reading our history and we feel fresh about what war is doing. The stories look a little less confident, don’t they? We feel a little less confident when violence can be so sudden and political will so arbitrary, so meaningless. ”
The dean went on to say: “In the fox burrows of Anzak Bay, in the bunkers of the destroyed cities of Ukraine, in the depths of distancing and isolation in a pandemic, we will learn again and again what it means to be rejected by our human beings. resources. The horror is growing and you have your humanity or you have indifferent gods ”.
He said that “humanity is given by God” and “not mine, not yours, but ours and God’s.”
The last mail was delivered during the service, and George Brandis, the High Commissioner of Australia, and his New Zealand counterpart Beda Corey laid wreaths at the tomb of an unknown warrior.
Earlier, William laid a wreath on behalf of the Queen to the Cenotaph, and hundreds participated in the parade, including members of veterans associations, military and former services, and their families.
A handwritten message in honor of the flowers read: “In memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice for our freedom. William.
The dean further said: “We have been tested in a pandemic, we are now tested by what is happening in Ukraine. We are asked to think about what we think about our own humanity – about our goal. We are tested not only by courage but also by hope.
“Do we believe we are better than the worst we can do? Do we have the resources to imagine and name something better when we look around and see the wastelands of our anger? ”
The day of remembrance began with the Duke of Gloucester attending a celebration at the New Zealand Memorial in London’s Hyde Park, where there were readings, “The Last Post” performed by a harpist and wreath-laying.
A spokeswoman for Kensington Palace said the Duchess was able to attend the service “as a result of changes in the diary”.