Prince Harry at drumhead service for memorial to Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans
Prince Harry

Prince Harry: 'Even When We Can't All Be Together, We Always Remember Together'

The Duke of Sussex was speaking on the military podcast 'Declassified' about what remembrance means to him.

Prince Harry at drumhead service for memorial to Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans

Prince Harry says the act of remembrance can still be shared together, even when apart.

People around the UK have privately paid their respects at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the Queen leading the nation in marking Remembrance Sunday.

A two-minute silence was held, with the service at the Cenotaph closed to the public for the first time, as people were instead urged to stay at home and watch it on TV.

Speaking to an episode of the military podcast 'Declassified' ahead of Remembrance Sunday, the Duke of Sussex described commemorations as "a profound act of honour".

"Remembrance Day for me, is a moment for respect and for hope," Prince Harry said.

"Respect for those who came before us and hope for a safer world.

"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."

Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph, in Whitehall, London wide shot with troops 081120 CREDIT PA
About 150 military personnel took part in the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph this year, which was closed to the public for the first time (Picture: PA).

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

"I wear the poppy to recognise all those who have served," he said.

"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."

The Invictus Games was launched in 2014 by Prince Harry, and is an adaptive event aimed at wounded, injured or sick Armed Forces personnel and veterans.

"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," the Duke said.

"I've been fortunate enough to meet the most incredible veterans over the years," he added.

"The banter with Chelsea Pensioners, to the veterans at the Field of Remembrance, all the D-Day vets – they all hold a really special place in my heart.

"With any of these guys, it's like meeting an old mate. We may not have served together, but we stand together with a shared understanding."

WATCH: Prime Minister Boris Johnson said coronavirus cannot prevent the nation from honouring the memory of those who gave their lives in service.

Harry continued: "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.

"Service is what happens in the quiet and in the chaos. It's what happens in the darkness, it’s what happens when people aren’t looking. It's what happens on and off the battlefield.

"It’s about carrying out our duty as soldiers and, for me, as a father, a husband and as a human being, it's how we uphold these values in every aspect of our lives."

In previous years, the Duke has marked the day with visits to the Cenotaph and Westminster Abbey’s Field of Remembrance, but this year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited Los Angeles National Cemetery.

"We wear the poppy to remember the two World Wars, what our nations endured and the lives that were lost.

"We wear it for the British and Commonwealth soldiers who lost their lives in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, the Falklands and Northern Ireland."

The Duke also took the opportunity to mention the symbolism of the occasion.

Prince Harry and Meghan were absent from the annual commemoration at the Cenotaph in London, spending Remembrance Sunday in Los Angeles, having begun a new life in California after stepping back as senior royals earlier this year.

The couple laid flowers at the gravesites of two Commonwealth soldiers.

The Duke and Duchess also placed a wreath at an obelisk in the cemetery that features a plaque inscribed 'In Memory of the Men Who Offered Their Lives In Defense Of Their Country'.

Cover image: Prince Harry at a drumhead service for a memorial to Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in 2017 (Picture: MOD).