SALUTE IN HONOUR
Prince tells hero he may bring girlfriend Meghan
Prince Harry is pictured at Westminster Abbey’s Field of Remembrance to honour the fallen ahead of Armistice Day. Harry, 33, laid a wooden cross in memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. He chatted with veterans from past and present conflicts.
PRINCE HARRY has honoured the nation’s war dead and joked with one veteran about bringing Meghan Markle to the event next year.
Harry, 33, laid a wooden cross at Westminster Abbey’s Field of Remembrance ahead of Armistice Day, in memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
He looked relaxed as he chatted and laughed with veterans from past and present conflicts. Harry joked with Matt Weston, who was a bomb disposal expert in Afghanistan, about bringing his US actress girlfriend to the event, around a year after their relationship hit the headlines.
Mr Weston, 28, said: “I took the mickey and asked where his missus was and he said she wasn’t here. I asked if she would come next time because she’s awesome, and he said he couldn’t hide her anywhere, but I said you wouldn’t have to hide her.
“I would love to meet her – I think she’s very cool. He’s a very lucky man and she’s brilliant.”
Mr Weston, from Taunton, Somerset, lost both his legs when an improvised explosive device exploded in 2009 while he was serving with the Royal Engineers 33 Regiment.
“It was great seeing him again; I met him before at the Afghanistan and Iraq memorial unveiling,” he added.
Harry also stopped to talk to seven-year-old Harrison Degiorgio-Lewis, who he recognised after meeting him at the abbey last year.
Harrison’s uncle, Lieutenant Aaron Lewis, of 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, was killed in Afghanistan in December 2008 when insurgents attacked a forward operation base he jointly commanded with Danish troops.
Harrison, who was accompanied by his grandmother Helen Lewis, was wearing his uncle’s campaign medals and beret.
“He has been coming here for four years now to represent his uncle,” said Mrs Lewis, 61, who lives near her grandson in Rochford, Essex.
She added: “Harry recognised him – they have a bond, as they share a birthday. Harry asked him about his uncle Aaron, and he said how proud he was.”
Harry, dressed in his Household Division frock coat and peaked cap, laid a cross in the grounds of Westminster Abbey when he arrived.
He solemnly saluted and stood in silence with hundreds of veterans as the Last Post was played.
Harry later stopped to talk to Joan De-Vall and Diana Lidstone, who served with the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the women’s branch of the British Army, during the Second World War.
Mrs Lidstone, 93, from Luton, said: “He asked how we were and if we’re staying down over the weekend.”
Mrs De-Vall, 92, added that was “wonderful” to meet Harry on the 100-year anniversary of women serving in the British military.
The Prince shared a joke with D-Day veteran George Chandler, 93, who has been coming to the event for 15 years.
Mr Chandler, who served with the Royal Navy Coastal Forces, said: “Last year he asked me what’s in my bag and I said a bottle of water and a machine gun. This year I told him I didn’t bring them and he laughed at that.”
Around 70,000 tiny crosses, many carrying handwritten messages, are laid on 380 plots in the abbey grounds representing military regiments, units, organisations and other groups.
I would love to meet (Meghan Markle) – I think she’s very cool. War veteran Matt Weston
ROYAL TRIBUTE: Prince Harry meets veterans at Westminster Abbey’s Field of Remembrance.
MEMORIAL: Chelsea Pensioners amongst remembrance crosses in the Westminster Abbey Field of Remembrance.