Prince Harry made a solo visit to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii over the weekend as he marked Remembrance Sunday – while members of the royal family gathered to honour the war dead and the Queen at the Cenotaph.
The Duke of Sussex, 38, cut a relaxed figure with an unbuttoned top collar and a casual blue suit as he surprised onlookers in Hawaii with the trip to the USS Arizona Memorial in Honolulu this weekend.
While he was without his wife Meghan Markle, 41, and their children Archie and Lilibet on the trip, the royal reportedly did spend time talking to the families who were also visiting the memorial on that day.
The snaps of his visit were later shared online by royal fans, who commented it ‘looked like the Duke was there for Veteran’s Day.’
In the photographs, the royal appears relaxed, wearing a poppy on the lapel of his suit. He was not wearing his military medals.
Harry served in the military for a decade and had two tours of Afghanistan, and has organised the Invictus Games for wounded and injured service members and veterans since 2014.
He is no longer permitted to wear military dress, however, after being stripped of the right when he left the royal family. He is still permitted to wear the medals he has earned.
Earlier this month, a factory which makes commemorative wreaths removed a Remembrance Day tribute laid by Prince Harry from its display.
Royal insiders claimed the move was another sign that the prince, who notably served in the military in Afghanistan, is being subtly phased out from royal life since quitting the UK for a new life in California.
In 2020, the couple, who are now based in America following Megxit, ‘personally recognised’ Remembrance Day by visiting the Los Angeles National cemetery to pay their respects to fallen Commonwealth soldiers, while last year, they made a surprise visit to a New Jersey military base.
However, the pair came under fire for arranging for a photographer to capture their personal act of Remembrance two years ago, with critics hitting out at the couple for enlisting Lee Morgan to release pictures from the moment.
Prince Harry made a solo visit Pearl Harbor in Hawaii over the weekend as he marked Remembrance Sunday – while members of the royal family gathered at the Cenotaph
The Duke of Sussex, 38, donned a smart blue suit as he surprised onlookers in Hawaii as he paid a visit to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbour this weekend
While he was without his wife Meghan Markle, 41, and their children Archie and Lilibet on the trip, the royal reportedly did spend time talking to the families who were also visiting the memorial on that day
To mark this year’s occasion, Harry and Meghan also shared a photograph showing them in front of military personnel to mark Veterans Day and Remembrance Day.
In a statement posted to their Archewell Foundation website, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said: ‘We honour servicemembers across the world. These brave men and women, as well as their families, have made tremendous sacrifices and embody duty and service.’
The statement continued: ‘We are proud to work with so many organizations that support veterans and military families, including: The Invictus Games Foundation, The Mission Continues, Team Rubicon, Scotty’s Little Soldiers and The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation. Today and every day, thank you for your service.’
The image shared this year, taken by Chris Allerton, their wedding photographer, appears to have been captured at The Hague in April during the Invictus Games.
Meanwhile Harry also sent a highly personal letter to bereaved children of members of the British Armed Forces claiming they share a bond due to having lost a parent.
In a note to members of Scotty’s Little Soldiers, a charity for bereaved British Forces children and young people, the Duke of Sussex said they are all in his ‘thoughts and heart’ on Remembrance Sunday and reminded them: ‘You are not alone.’
His latest visit came as members of the royal family came together at the cenotaph for a poignant and moving Remembrance Sunday (pictured, Charles and William)
Queen Camilla and Catherine, Princess of Wales, attend the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph, in Whitehall (pictured)
The place where Prince Harry chose to spend Remembrance Sunday
On December 7, 1941, Japan launched more than 350 fighters, bombers, and torpedo planes against the US naval base in Hawaii, plunging America into World War II.
The Japanese assault began around 8am, resulting in the deaths of thousands of Americans, numerous injuries, and the sinking of four battleships, and damage to another four.
Hundreds of Marines and sailors went down with their ships, others were burned beyond recognition in explosions and fires.
The USS Arizona tragically lost 1,177 crewmen out of 1,512 who perished while on the ship during the attack.
Navy fighter planes were blown up without the chance to take off and hangars were set ablaze during the surprise assault.
Of the 402 American aircraft in Hawaii, 188 were destroyed and 159 damaged.
Almost none were ready to take off to defend the base when the attack started, and just eight managed to get airborne during the attack.
The attack was part of a campaign of Pacific expansion undertaken by Imperial Japan that was intent on carving out an Asian empire to rival those of Europe.
Overall, 2,403 Americans were killed on that day in just 90 minutes.
Of the tens of thousands of servicemen who survived, between 2,000 to 2,500 survivors are thought to be still alive.
Harry said one of the ways he has personally learned to cope has been ‘through community and talking about my grief’.
His letter comes as two members of Scotty’s Little Soldiers, ages 8 and 14, shared how Remembrance Day helps them feel connected to their late fathers.
The organisation, which has a long-standing relationship with Harry, says they are grateful for his ‘continued support.
The Duke of Sussex, in his later dated November 13, told the children they are in his ‘thoughts and heart’ this Remembrance Sunday.
‘We share a bond even without ever meeting one another, because we share in having lost a parent,’ Harry wrote.
‘I know first-hand the pain and grief that comes with loss and want you to know that you are not alone.
‘While difficult feelings will come up today as we pay tribute to heroes like your mum or dad, I hope you can find comfort and strength in knowing that their love for you lives and shines on.
‘Whenever you need a reminder of this, I encourage you to lean into your friends at Scotty’s Little Soldiers.
‘One of the ways I’ve learned to cope has been through community and talking about my grief, and I couldn’t be more grateful and relieved that you have amazing people walking beside you throughout your journey.
‘We all know some days are harder than others, but together those days are made easier.’
He added: ‘Today and every day, I admire and respect all the men and women who have given their lives in service of us – especially those in your family.
‘I am also incredibly proud of you for being the best example in remembering them.’
In previous years, the duke has marked the day with visits to the Cenotaph and Westminster Abbey’s Field of Remembrance – he first attended the cenotaph in 2009 aged 25.
However since Megxit, he has marked the day in a number of different ways.
Last year, Meghan and Harry attended a glamorous gala in New York City to celebrate the military on the eve of Veterans Day in the US and Armistice Day in Britain.
In November 2020, the couple visited Los Angeles National cemetery, where they laid flowers they had picked from their own garden at two graves, one for those who had served in the Royal Australian Air Force and one for soldiers from the Royal Canadian Artillery.
They 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 Defence Of Their Country’.
At the time, it was said Harry had been refused permission for a wreath to be laid at the Cenotaph on his behalf. The Duke was said to have made the personal request to Buckingham Palace following Megxit.
Prince Harry (pictured left at the West Point Military Academy in America in 2010 and right during a shift in Afghanistan in 2012), who spent 10 years in the armed forces, described the day as ‘a moment for respect and for hope’, in an interview with the Declassified podcast in 2020
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, pictured alongside Prince William, and Prince Andrew, Duke of York during the annual Remembrance Sunday service in 2018
At the time, the Queen was not thought to have been informed of the request or its refusal, which is said to have ‘deeply saddened’ the Duke of Sussex, the Times said.
It later emerged that Harry’s wreath was made at the Royal British Legion’s Kent HQ for £1,000, but lay there forgotten.
A spokesman for the RBL told Mail Online Royal wreaths are made in advance of the Remembrance period and ‘not to specific requests, then stored for later use.’
A spokesman for the couple said: ‘It was important to the duke and duchess to be able to personally recognise Remembrance in their own way, to pay tribute to those who have served and to those who gave their lives,’ a statement said.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex pictured during a private visit to the Los Angeles National Cemetery on Remembrance Sunday in 2020
In 2020, the couple, who are now based in America following Megxit, ‘personally recognised’ Remembrance Day by visiting the Los Angeles National cemetery to pay their respects to fallen Commonwealth soldiers
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the 2021 Salute To Freedom Gala at the Intrepid Museum in New York City on November 10, 2021
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are seen on November 11, 2021, visiting Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey to mark Veterans Day
‘The couple laid flowers that the duchess picked from their garden at the gravesites of two commonwealth soldiers, one who had served in the Royal Australian Air Force and one from the Royal Canadian Artillery.’
Prince and Princess of Wales pay tribute to the Armed Forces by changing their Instagram and Twitter profile pictures
The royal couple have had a photo taken from their 2019 Ireland trip as their profile picture on both of their social media accounts for the past two years.
The image shows the then Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sharing a laugh with their arms around each other as they posed by the stunning cliffs in Howth, which is just east of Dublin.
But to pay their respects to the fallen over the weekend, the Prince and Princess of Wales changed their social media image to one of them attending the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in 2018.
The photo showed the couple standing looking solemn and standing within the Royal Box with their poppies proudly on display.
The Prince and Princess of Wales have changed their Instagram and Twitter profile pictures to this image of them attending Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in 2018
The couple are pictured looking solemn and standing within the Royal Box with their poppies proudly on display in their profile picture
King Charles and the Queen Consort took a similar approach with their social media pages too.
Rather than a picture of the couple themselves, the Royal Family’s Instagram profile picture was previously an image showing the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom.
However, Charles and Camilla changed it a portrait taken during their 2009 royal tour of Canada.
The couple are pictured attending the Remembrance Day Service at Canada’s National War Memorial in Ottawa exactly 13 years ago.
King Charles and the Queen Consort have changed their Instagram profile picture to this image of them attending Remembrance Day Service at Canada’s National War Memorial in Ottawa on November 11, 2009
King Charles is pictured with all his army medals on display while the Queen Consort has two wool poppies on her coat
As well as having all his army medals – including the Canadian Forces Decoration – on full display, King Charles also had a wool poppy on the lapel of his jacket.
Meanwhile, the Queen Consort doubled up on her poppies and wore a silver maple leaf brooch in a nod to the country that was hosting them at the time.
The statement said they also placed a wreath at an obelisk in the cemetery.
‘The duke signed a message with the wreath saying: “To all of those who have served, and are serving. Thank you”.’
People close to Harry defended the prince, saying that the Duke’s military family ‘is one of the most important things to him and always will be.’
Those close to the father-of-two said he was not the sort of person to make a stunt out of a Remembrance event, particularly having personally known fellow service personnel who died.
Prince Harry has previously emphasised the importance of Remembrance Sunday during an appearance on a military podcast to mark the event in 2020.
On the interview with the Declassified podcast, he described the day as ‘a moment for respect and for hope’.
The former royal said: ‘The act of remembering, of remembrance, is a profound act of honour. 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.’
His latest visit came as members of the royal family came together at the cenotaph for a poignant and moving Remembrance Sunday.
The Queen, who died nine weeks ago at the age of 96, considered Remembrance Sunday, which commemorates the war dead, one of the most significant and important engagements in the royal calendar.
She first laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in 1945 when she was still a princess. The nation’s longest-reigning monarch, who lived through the Second World War as a teenager and was head of the armed forces, only missed seven Cenotaph services during her reign, including in 2021 due to a back sprain.
King Charles III led his first Remembrance Sunday event as monarch, laying a wreath in tribute to UK and Commonwealth war dead in a sombre service that saw a gun salute, bugle calls and a touching tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.
As king and commander-in-chief of British forces, Charles was the first to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in remembrance of all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Two minutes’ silence were observed after Big Ben tolled 11 times, marking the resumption of full operations for the newly restored Great Clock in the nearby Houses of Parliament.
Cannon fire marked the beginning and end of the silence, culminating in buglers playing the Last Post in front of the Cenotaph, before UK politicians and Commonwealth ambassadors laid their own wreaths.
A short service followed the laying of the main wreaths, with the Bishop of London, Dame Sarah Mullally, delivering a prayer.
The King and members of the royal family then sang the hymn O God, Our Help in Ages Past as thousands filled Whitehall.
Around 10,000 veterans marched past the Cenotaph today, including 400 who fought in the Falklands War 40 years ago.
The Remembrance Sunday ceremony had added poignancy this year given the anniversary of the Falklands War, the Queen’s death and the war in Ukraine.
Meanwhile a factory which displays the wreaths has removed Harry’s tributes.
The Poppy Factory, based in Richmond, south west London, was founded 100 years ago to make wreaths and poppies to honour fallen soldiers. It had previously showcased Harry’s £1,000 wreath, The Mirror reports.
A source at the site said: ‘Harry used to have his wreath on display in the centre’s old exhibiting area, but it isn’t any more.
‘We’ve got rid of it – and all the duplicates we kept too.’
But in a statement, a spokesperson for The Poppy Factory said: ‘The Poppy Factory underwent a complete redevelopment in 2020, including the creation of a new visitor centre, which has allowed us to bring the story of our factory community to life in our centenary year.
‘The display of Royal wreaths in the visitor centre is unchanged since it was formally opened by Our Patron, Her Majesty The Queen Consort, in November 2021.
‘We will make changes to the exhibition in due course, to reflect changes made to the wreaths following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We are proud of our continued role in creating and maintaining Remembrance wreaths for all working members of The Royal Family.’
It comes following claims that the King is keeping a close eye on Prince Harry’s autobiography and a Netflix series starring himself and his wife Meghan.
Royal author Tom Bower said: ‘He has made various threats and warned they will find themselves ostracised in a way they cannot believe.’
While Harry appeared to be on his solo trip to Hawaii, the Prince and Princes of Wales were arriving at the service. Both appeared sombre during their journey
The King was clearly emotional as he stepped into the role the late Queen Elizabeth II counted as one of her most important public duties, pictured left. Pictured right: The Prince of Wales was the second person to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph, which bore the feathers of the heir apparent
Sophie, Countess of Wessex and wife of Prince Edward, attended the ceremony from the spouse’s balcony alongside Kate and the Queen Consort