Meghan Markle and Prince Harry celebrated a memorial day for British war veterans with a private visit to a Los Angeles cemetery after a rebuff from the royal family.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had requested that a wreath be laid in their name as part of the British memorial service on Sunday, when the war dead of the country are acknowledged.
However, the request was rejected by the royal assistants on the grounds that the Prince no longer represented the Monarchy in an official capacity.
The British newspaper The Sun found Harry’s wreath lying unused in a branch of the veteran charity Royal British Legion. The wreath is said to have cost $1,300 to make.
The news comes after a tense year for the royal family in which Harry and Meghan ended their royal duties in January and began a new life in California in March.
The gulf between Prince Harry and Prince William was also revealed by two biographies, Finding Freedom and Battle of Brothers.
Queen Elizabeth II led Britain’s official service on the cenotaph in London alongside Kate Middleton, Prince William and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, to name but a few.
Harry and Meghan had a very different memory with a private visit to the Los Angeles National Cemetery, where they walked among the rows of white gravestones and laid down a wreath and flowers.
Harry signed the wreath which read “To all who have served and continue to serve. I thank you.”
Yesterday, a prerecorded episode of the podcast “Declassified” was aired, in which Harry said “Being able to wear my uniform, getting up in service to your country is one of the greatest honors there is in life.
“For me, the uniform is a symbol of something much greater; it is a symbol of our commitment to protecting our country and upholding our values.
“These values are put into practice through service, and service is what happens in silence and chaos.
“It is what happens in the darkness, it is what happens when people are not looking. It is what happens on and off the battlefield.
The Royal Family celebrated the commemoration Sunday during the official worship service of the United Kingdom on the cenotaph in London, while Meghan Markle and Prince Harry visited a cemetery in Los Angeles.
“It is about fulfilling our duty as soldiers. For me as a father, husband and as a human being, it is about how we maintain these values in every aspect of our lives.
The Los Angeles Cemetery has a special significance for the Duke and Duchess because it is opposite the Greater Los Angeles Area Health Care System for U.S. Veterans Affairs, which Meghan’s grandfather Alvin Ragland used after serving in the U.S. Coast Guard.
A friend of the couple told Washington Newsday: “It was important for the Duke and Duchess to personally acknowledge the commemoration in their own way to honor those who served and those who gave their lives.
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The source added: “The couple placed flowers picked by the Duchess from her garden at the graves of two Commonwealth soldiers, one serving in the Royal Australian Air Force and one in the Royal Canadian Artillery.
“They also laid a wreath on an obelisk in the cemetery with a plaque inscribed ‘In memory of the men who sacrificed their lives in defense of their country’.
Since the entire royal family commemorated without him, Prince Harry emphasized his service to the military.
He said: “Declassified: “I spent 10 years in the military, with two missions in Afghanistan.
“When I am questioned at this time of my life, I draw from memories, I draw from what I remember and who I remember.
“Like the first time we were shot and who I was with, the victims we saw and those we saved.
“And the first paramedic we took out of contact in a race against time. Once served, always served, no matter what.
“So that we do not forget our fallen comrades, our relatives, our friends, so that we do not forget how different things must have been 100 years ago and how different they will be in 100 years.
“This is what Memorial Day means to me.
“The solidarity of a common value system of our community, fighting for what is right and honorable, no matter what happens