Prince William Makes Surprise Visit to Afghanistan

While the U.K. Remembers Its Fallen, William Visits Those Currently Serving Overseas


Nov. 14, 2010—

Britain's Prince William made a surprise visit to Afghanistan today to honor British soldiers who have died during wars, while Queen Elizabeth led the nation in honoring the war dead in London for Remembrance Day, according the Associated Press.

The Prince, 28, who is second in line to the throne, flew to Camp Bastion, Helmand Province, which is the British military base in Afghanistan. After attending a Remembrance Sunday service early this morning, he laid a wreath before flying home to London.

Prince William was joined in Afghanistan by Defense Secretary Liam Fox.

"Remembrance Sunday is a time when the entire country stops to recognize the sacrifices made by the armed forces on our behalf," Fox said today.

"I am extremely proud that Prince William and I could come to Camp Bastion to stand alongside the men and women serving in Afghanistan today. I pay tribute to them, and everyone who has served before them in this conflict, and others on behalf of the freedoms that the British people enjoy."

Meanwhile, in London, his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, led the nation in a two-minute silence to remember fallen soldiers at 11 GMT this morning, after which she laid a wreath at the Cenotaph memorial.

The Queen was followed by other members of the royal family and the U.K.'s new prime minister, David Cameron. Thousands of veterans and revelers flocked to the ceremony near central London's Cenotaph war memorial.

Remembrance Day in the U.K. falls on the nearest Sunday to the anniversary of the end of the First World War on Nov. 11, 1918. Since its inception, it now pays tribute to soldiers who fell in World War II, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Prince Harry, William's brother, served in Helmand Province, Afghanistan for 10 weeks beginning in December 2007. He is likely to return to the frontline to fight as soon as the end of 2011.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.