Emotional Meghan Markle and Prince Harry sing hymns at 5am service in London

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have arrived at the New Zealand war memorial near Hyde Park in central London for an Anzac Day dawn service attended by hundreds of Australians and New Zealanders.

The couple were welcomed by Te Ataraiti Waretini from Ngati Ranana – the London Maori Club – with a traditional hongi, the soft pressing of noses and the sharing of each other’s breath.

As the sun broke over the London skyline, Harry, a former army officer who served for 10 years in the forces, laid his floral wreath at one of a group of metal crosses near Wellington Arch in central London.

A handwritten note from the prince, attached to a wreath of red roses, read: "For all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of our freedom. Thank you. Harry"

The couple looked sombre as they arrived for the service.

Ms Markle may not yet be a member of the royal family but she has attended a large number of official events in the run-up to her royal wedding on May 19.

The US actress, who wore a grey coat and large brimmed hat, passed a cultural milestone when she, and Harry, were traditionally welcomed.

There were other Maori cultural elements during the dawn service including a haka performed at the end, a longer version of the one displayed by the famous New Zealand rugby team the All Blacks before matches.

Ms Waretini said about Meghan: "She was amazing. I’m not sure if it’s her first time at a Maori ceremony but she did very very well.

"It was really lovely to meet her and share the breath of life and share our culture with her and Harry."

Later in the day, the prince and Ms Markle will join a Westminster Abbey congregation for a service of commemoration and thanksgiving.

Anzac Day – April 25 – marks the anniversary of the start of the First World War Gallipoli landings, and is a national day of remembrance for Australia and New Zealand.

Thousands of Anzac troops – Australian and New Zealand Army Corps – died in the ill-fated 1915 campaign on the Turkish peninsula.

The Dawn Service was held at Wellington Arch in central London and began at the New Zealand memorial where Harry laid a wreath.

The prince, Ms Markle and Sir Jerry Mateparae and Alexander Downer, the high commissioners of New Zealand and Australian respectively, will then walk to the nearby Australian memorial, where Harry will lay another wreath and sign a book of remembrance.

Later in the morning at a wreath laying and parade service at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, Prince Harry will leave a floral tribute on behalf of the Queen.

Hundreds are expected to take part in the parade including members of veterans associations and ex-service personnel and their families.

At Westminster Abbey, Harry and Meghan will join the congregation for a traditional service where the Last Post will be played, an address made and Turkey’s Ambassador to the UK will read the famous words of Kemal Ataturk – Turkey’s founding father – from Anzac Cove.

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