After a highly successful tour of New Zealand and Australia, the 2014 Royal Tour is finally coming to a close. For their final day in Australia, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended commemorative military events on ANZAC Day.
ANZAC Day is an official day of remembrance for both Australia and New Zealand. Originally, the 25th of April marked the anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign during World War I and pay respects to the fallen soldiers. Today, the day is used to commemorate those who have died in all campaigns, and to remember the sacrifice of the Royal New Zealand and Royal Australian Armed Forces.
This morning, William and Catherine attended the dawn memorial services for ANZAC Day. Around mid-morning, Their Royal Highnesses will attend the ANZAC Day March and Commemorative Service at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Following the service, the Duke and Duchess will plant a tree in the Memorial Garden. After bidding their hosts farewell, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Cheeks will depart on a Royal Australia Air Force aircraft.
ANZAC Day March and Commemorative Service
April 25th is a day of remembrance for Australia and New Zealand’s military. It is traditionally memorial day for those lost in the Gallipoli campaign, but today the date is used to commemorate those who have died in all conflicts.
The Duke and Duchess’ choice to spend their final day celebrating, remembering, and paying their respects to Australia and New Zealand’s fallen soldiers is a particularly poignant choice.
William and Catherine attended the ANZAC Day march, a massive military parade through the center of the town.
Following the march, Their Royal Highnesses attended a Memorial Service at the Australian War Memorial. At the memorial, William and Catherine laid a wreath with a handwritten note.
The Duke and Duchess made their way to the Memorial Wall, where they toured the wall and viewed the names of fallen soldiers. They laid a second wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which is being guarded today by four servicemen.
William and Catherine planted a Lone Pine, grown from a seed taken from Gallipoli Island. The poignant tree planting ceremony will be a reminder of the partnership between the British and Australian armed forces.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore a blue tweed coat, perhaps by Katherine Hooker or Emilia Wickstead, and navy felt hat by Australian milliner Jonathan Howard. She had a red poppy brooch affixed to her coat – the poppy is a symbol of military remembrance. The brooch was given to her last night by the wife of Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith VC.
Kate accessorized with navy blue suede shoes by Alexander McQueen and a navy suede Stuart Weitzman clutch.
Departure from Canberra
After three weeks of events, engagements, Cheeks sightings, walkabouts, handshakes, and children with posies, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George ended their tour of New Zealand and Australia.
William, Catherine and George boarded a Royal Australian Air Force craft, which took them to a commercial airport. There, they will board a commercial flight (likely Quantas or British Airways) that will take them home to England.
This was the last chance for Royal Watchers to see Cheeks for quite some time. After three weeks of pictures and videos of the wee prince, his cute chubby legs will be sorely missed. The next time we might see him is the Trooping the Colour in June.
William and Catherine will also lay low for a while upon returning to London. The Cambridges will undoubtedly want a few days of rest and relaxation after the grueling tour.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge waved goodbye to the massive press pack and locals who came to bid them farewell. It was an incredibly emotional, exhausting, and successful tour that history will remember fondly.