Anzac Day 2014 in Canberra: Royals commemorate Anzac Day on Australian tour

On the tenth and final day of their Australian tour, Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, will commemorate Anzac Day in Canberra.

Welcome back to our live blog of Anzac Day and the royal tour. It's the last day of the royal couple's Australia and New Zealand tour so the agenda is pretty short.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have already had an early start, attending the Dawn Service alongside Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove. They're also set to attend the Anzac Day ceremony at 10.30am at the Australian War Memorial, joining tens of thousands of Canberrans to honour the nation's servicemen and women. They'll also exercise their elite skills with the shovel as they plant a tree at the memorial.

Then it's on to Fairbairn where they'll fly out of Canberra at 2pm, and hopefully allowing the nation to recover from 10 days of relentless royal fever.

Our team of Fairfax photographers and reporters will be bringing you all the coverage from today's Anzac Day services.

This morning we have Ian Warden, Megan Doherty(@MeganDohertyCT) and Henry Belot (@Henry_Belot) on the ground at the Australian War Memorial and in the crowd along Anzac Parade.

In the afternoon we'll cross to Ben Westcott (@Ben_Westcott) will be reporting from Fairbairn air base as the royals say farewell to Australia and head home to Britain.

The weather today is not too bad for the Anzac Day service and marches. It's looking cloudy with a predicted high of 18C. There is a chance of a shower or a thunderstorm in the afternoon.

The Duke and Duchess also left a special Anzac message pinned to a wreath.

Henry Belot is down at Anzac Parade where the marching parties are gathering in preparation for the 10.30am service.

Henry Belot was at the Dawn Service where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made a surprise appearance. He says they stood atop the stairs next to Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and joined in the hymns. The couple were wrapped up warmly with Kate in a cream-coloured scarf, fur-trimmed coat and black gloves. William wore a dark suit with medals pinned to the breast.

See his full Anzac Day royal story here. And read all about the Dawn Service here.

More beautiful pictures coming through from the crowd at Anzac Parade. Megan Doherty has found some lovely little mini celebrities.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and wife Margie have arrived for the service at the Australian War Memorial.

The Duke and Duchess are set to arrive at any moment.

The royals are en route.

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher and prime minister's wife Margie Abbott are sitting together.

The Duke and Duchess arrive at the War Memorial, and are greeted by Brendan Nelson, the memorial's director.

The Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove is now arriving at the War Memorial.

The band strikes up as the guard of honour prepares to begin the march.

William has joined Sir Peter Cosgrove on the steps in front of the Stone of Remembrance to receive the march past, which is led off by the traditional riderless horse, representing the riders who never made it home.

VC winner Ben Roberts-Smith is among the marchers at the head of the parade and receives a very warm burst of applause as he walks past.

As the march prepared to leave, older representatives of the units are giving the smiling young flag bearers pep talk on the importance of the day, telling them to enjoy the moment, and to march with pride.

Particularly warm applause for older veterans who are being carried past on jeeps. They wave to the crowds.

Kate is paying particular attention to the parade, leaning forward to applaud as the groups march past.

Among the groups coming through are the peacekeepers in their UN blue berets.

There are apparently no details on Kate's dress as it's "not appropriate" to discuss her fashion on Anzac Day.

The Duke of Cambridge is standing on the steps before the Australian War Memorial with the Governor-General on his right. The marchers pass directly in front with Sir Peter nodding to pole bearers while chatting to the Duke. Marchers turn their heads to the right and slightly upwards to look the Duke in the eyes.

While the Duke and Duchess' team are keeping mum about her fashion choices, it's fair to say her navy hat and grey coat won't go unscrutinised.

Down on the ground, Canberrans are lined at least six rows deep all along Anzac Parade as the marchers move towards the War Memorial. Young children are sitting on the shoulders of their fathers to catch a glimpse of marchers. They're clapping their hands and being careful not to lose their balance. On the parade the applause is almost nonstop as young men in slouch hats march towards the memorial, the Duke, the Governor-General and thousands of proud Canberrans.

This is the sweeping view of the Australian War Memorial looking down Anzac Parade to Lake Burley Griffin, as taken by Fairfax photographer Alex Ellinghausen. A little grey but still a pretty imposing sight.

The catafalque party has arrived.

Kate is wearing a poppy brooch given to her by Emma Roberts-Smith (wife of VC recipient Ben Roberts-Smith) at last night's reception at Government House. William is wearing his guards tie and medals.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is now speaking.

"As someone who has never served in the armed forces, never fired a shot in anger... I am in awe of the Anzac generation who were tested almost beyond endurance," he says.

The first World War impacted Australia as never before or since, he says.

Tony Abbott says that individually and collectively, the Anzac campaign represented sacrifice on a stupendous scale.

"The centenary of Anzac should mean for all of us, pondering anew the example of our forebears. We should be a nation of memories not just of memorials for these are our foundation stories," Mr Abbott says.  "They should be as important to us as the ride of Paul Revere, the battle of Hastings or the incarceration of Nelson Mandela are to others."

The Prime Minister says, "This Anzac Day we welcome among us Prince William, the Queen's grandson and a Royal Air Force pilot. Long ago we ceased to regard Britain as a mother country but we are still family."

The Duke and Duchess are paying close attention to his speech.

The royal couple join in singing the hymn O Valiant Hearts.

They then lay a wreath at the Stone of Remembrance.

Tony Abbott and his wife also lay a wreath at the stone, while ACT Chief Minister follows after the royal couple to place a wreath of yellow flowers against the stone. They're followed in succession by dignitaries including the Chief Justice of the High Court, Robert French, and the British High Commissioner Paul Madden.

Now we have the requiem from Rear Admiral Ken Doolan, the chairman of the council of the War Memorial, who speaks of the courage of the fallen and injured. "Their stories adorn our nation's history," he says.

The crowd gets to its feet to sing Abide With Me.

Jets soar past overhead on the traditional flypast.

Rear Admiral Ken Doolan recites the ode:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

It's followed by The Last Post and a minute's silence.

We now have the singing of the Australian national anthem. The royals don't appear to be joining in - perhaps they don't know the words. But the crowd is in full voice and Tony Abbott and wife Margie are among them.

And here come the three fighter jets.

That concludes the Anzac Day ceremony. The royals are now going to lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier in the Australian War Memorial.

The royal couple have laid the wreath in the war memorial, followed by a number of dignitaries.

The Duke and Duchess are inside the Australian War Memorial with dignitaries. The royal couple paused for a moment with their heads bowed after laying the wreath and then returned to the steps of the memorial. They will reemerge shortly to plant a seedling for the Lone Pine in the grounds of the memorial before wrapping up their official duties for Anzac Day.

The royal couple then placed poppies on the Wall of Remembrance inside the memorial, with Kate taking a moment to find a suitable spot among the expanse of scarlet flowers.

A pack of British royal reporters just rushed past me only to return the other way a minute later. It seems that everyone is looking for that eye-catching photo of Catherine for their royal coverage.

The Duke and Duchess have emerged from the memorial. Crowds have gathered outside waiting for them to come outside for the tree planting. People are now trying to take selfies with her in the background.

A lovely sight - the Australian Red Cross are part of the march and stride across the parade ground, a smiling group of men and women dressed in bright red. They looks very happy to be there and they get a special moment of applause from Kate, who leans forward and smiles brightly back at them.

The Duchess shares a moment with war memorial director Brendan Nelson, smiling and tapping her wrist with an elegant finger.

Marching groups are coming through from France and other allied countries. Two young girl guides are marching alone in today's march. They're representing France, holding the placard proudly with a sprig of rosemary wedged between their fingers.

The Duke has now gone back to his seat and is taking a moment to talk with the Duchess.

The US contingent has marched past, followed by Polish veterans and a large group representing the Turkish community in Australia.

Marching bands come past, including the blue uniformed members of the Canberra City band, who have been a fixture of the Anzac Day service. They're followed by marshals and a group of excited looking Girl Guides who have been responsible for handing out sprigs of rosemary such as the ones pinned to the Duke and Duchess' coats. And that concludes the march.

The Duke and Duchess manage to share a quick moment as the march concludes and silence falls while the crowd waits for the next part of the ceremony to begin.

Photos are starting to come through from the beginning of the service. This one is of the Duke and Duchess standing to receive the Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove.

Catherine is walking along beside Brendan Nelson and is managing small talk with aplomb.

The royal couple have left the War Memorial in their motorcade, travelling back down Anzac Parade. A crowd of royal watchers ran down the slope from the memorial after the cars to catch a glimpse of the Duke and Duchess, hoping even just for a hint of a smile.

The Australian War Memorial confirms that the royal couple did indeed plant the Lone Pine tree seedling before they left after the Anzac Day services.

The jet's fuelled, the stairs are down and the media are in place, ready for the departure. Not long to go now.

At Fairbairn the crowd of photographers and journalists is ready for their final shots of the Duke and Duchess. This is our man Jay Cronan who is on the tarmac with Natasha Boddy (and not Ben Westcott as previously reported. Ben's safe in the office across from me.)

A small but eager crowd has gathered at the airport to farewell the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George as they prepare to depart Australia after a hugely successful tour.

About a dozen eager Royal watchers have lined fences facing the tarmac at the RAAF base in Fairbairn while a small crowd bearing banners urging the Royals to "come back soon" has gathered at the airport entrance ahead of their imminent arrival.

Catherine, William and Prince George are expected to arrive at the airport shortly for their departure and to farewell Australia.

Here's a closer look at the wreath laid by William and Catherine earlier today. The attached card says: "Never forgetting those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.'' William and Catherine. 

Crowds have started to gather outside the fences at Fairbairn hoping for a last look at the royal family.

A message from Clarence House's official Twitter.

It's 2pm, the last moments of the royal visit are nigh. What will we do once it's all over?

Police have set up all along the road to the airport and the roads are lined with scattered groups of people hoping for a glance - they have to have George with them this time!

The Australian delegation has arrived at the air base to farewell the royals.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is there alongside Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, who is in a pink long sleeve top with a black skirt and tights.

The royals have arrived at the airport. Prince George is wearing a bright red jumper and is being carried by the Duchess.

The royals are heading out.

And a last wave and smile from the young royal family before they head into the jet taking them home to London.

William, Catherine and Prince George have farewelled Australia after a hugely successful tour.

The family have just boarded a RAAF plane after stopping to farewell dignitaries including Prime Minister Tony Abbott, wife Margie, Chief Minister Katy Gallagher and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

Catherine and William gave one final wave to crowds lining the fences near the Tarmac at The RAAF base in Fairbairn

A picture from The Sun's royal correspondent Emily Andrews shows Kate bright and smiling with Prince George safely in her arms. He seems pretty excited at the prospect of a really long international flight.

And that's it from William, Catherine and baby George. We wish them a safe flight back to London. From the palace's point of view it's been a successful tour Down Under that's demonstrated how popular the young royal family is.

And that's it from us here at the live blog. Thanks to our stellar reporting team Henry Belot, Megan Doherty, Ian Warden, Fleta Page and Natasha Boddy, and great photography from Graham Tidy and Jay Cronan. We'll have more stories wrapping up the royal Australian tour on the main website to come.

Barring any unexpected dashes to the Yarralumla shops to pick up travel sized face creams, we've got about half an hour to wait before our final sightings of William and Kate. Our reporter Ben Westcott will be on the tarmac to bring you live news.

In the meantime check out this gallery of previous royal visits to Canberra, including some lovely shots of Prince Charles and Diana, William's parents. I particularly love the shot of Diana exiting an ACTION bus on the roof of the new Parliament House, wearing a hard hat and a pretty polka dot jacket (it's about three photos in).

This photo has just come in of the royals laying the wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier.

William and Kate are now preparing to leave Australia. We will get a final glimpse of the Duke, Duchess and baby Prince George just before 2pm at Fairbairn air base where they will board their plane for the flight home to Britain.

Australian milliner Jonathan Howard designed the sculptural navy blue hat Catherine wore during the Anzac Day service. And that poppy brooch was a gift from the wife of VC winner Ben Roberts-Smith at last night's Government House reception.

The story Anzac Day 2014 in Canberra: Royals commemorate Anzac Day on Australian tour first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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