The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, lays a wreath during a Dawn Service at the New Zealand war memorial, Wellington Arch, London, to commemorate Anzac Day
Royals

Anzac Day: Prince William And Princess Anne Pay Their Respects

The commemoration marks the First World War Gallipoli landings and is a national day of remembrance for Australia and New Zealand.

The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, lays a wreath during a Dawn Service at the New Zealand war memorial, Wellington Arch, London, to commemorate Anzac Day

Prince William has paid tribute to the "indomitable spirit" and "courage" of Australian and New Zealand forces as he and Princess Anne mark this year's Anzac Day.

The commemoration marks the anniversary of the start of the Gallipoli landings during the First World War and is a national day of remembrance for Australia and New Zealand.

To mark the occasion, Prince William sent a message to the New Zealand and Australian High Commissions in London, along with some Anzac biscuits.

"This Anzac Day, Catherine and I join Australians and New Zealanders across the world to remember and honour the servicemen and women of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps," he said.

"Today we stand together to reflect not only on their sacrifices, but also their courage, sense of duty, and their famously indomitable spirit.

"Though many will still be unable to come together in person this year, we are heartened in the knowledge that Australians and New Zealanders will continue to commemorate those who have given so much for our freedoms.

"The Anzac qualities of endurance, courage, ingenuity, good humour and mateship are admired as fiercely as ever before.

"Lest we forget."

On Sunday, the Princess Royal and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, attended two commemorative services in London on behalf of the Royal Family.

At dawn, the pair were among a reduced number attending the Anzac Day Dawn Service at Wellington Arch – at which the princess laid a wreath and signed a book of remembrance.

Princess Anne and the Vice Admiral also attended the Anzac Day Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey, speaking to the High Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand.

In Scotland, Anzac Day commemorations will take place online in a virtual service.

Thousands of Anzac troops – Australian and New Zealand Army Corps – died in the ill-fated 1915 campaign after waves of allied forces launched an attack on the Turkish peninsula.

Backed by Sir Winston Churchill, the plan backfired and the campaign, which faced a heroic defence by the Turks, led to a stalemate and withdrawal eight months later.

Its legacy is the celebration of the "Anzac spirit" – courage, endurance, initiative, discipline and mateship – shown by the Antipodean troops.

Anzac Day has been commemorated in London since the first anniversary of the Anzac landings when King George V attended a service at Westminster Abbey.

Since then, the services have become an important moment for thousands of expatriates and visiting New Zealanders and Australians.

Cover image: The Princess Royal lays a wreath on Anzac Day (Picture: PA/Alamy).