Harry and Meghan's Remembrance day cemetery visit 'was not a publicity stunt'

Sources close to Prince Harry have denied that his trip to a cemetery on Remembrance Sunday was a ‘publicity stunt’.

Images of the Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan both dressed in black emerged on Sunday, just after it was reported Buckingham Palace refused the Prince’s request to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in his name. 

The couple declined to return to the UK for the official commemorations because of the pandemic but wanted to mark the day ‘in their own way’.

Some said the photoshoot, in which the couple left flowers and a wreath at the Los Angeles National Cemetery, looked like a publicity stunt. 

On Twitter, people made comments like: ‘Sentiment totally missed due to the fact they took their own private photographer’ and called it ‘tasteless.’

This has now been denied by a source close to the prince who told The Sun the military family is ‘one of the most important things’ to Harry and ‘will always remain so.’

Buckingham Palace have refused to comment on Harry’s request to lay a wreath but The Times reported over the weekend the decision to reject it was made because he has stepped back from royal duties. 

The former prince was reportedly ‘deeply saddened’ by the decision, which was made without consulting the Queen. 

He appeared on a podcast to reflect on his ten years in the army and why he feels it is important to mark Remembrance Day.

The source told The Sun: ‘If you listen to the podcast that he did at the weekend, he talks about wearing the poppy and wanting to recognise Remembrance Sunday, not only for all those people historically, but also for the people he knew that he lost.

‘I don’t think that’s someone who does something like Remembrance Sunday as a publicity stunt.’

They added: ‘It’s probably not surprising that having served on the front line, having done tours of duty, having been in the military for 10 years, having created Invictus, supported Walking with the Wounded and all others, that the military community, the military family is probably one of the most important things to the duke, and will always be so.’

The wreath Harry laid in LA said: ‘To all of those who have served and are serving. Thank you.’

In previous years he has taken part in the services at the Cenotaph and Westminister Abbey. This year, his brother William and dad Charles laid wreathes in his absence while the Queen watched on from a balcony. 

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