Prince Harry has been forced to deny his Remembrance Day photo shoot was a "publicity stunt" following backlash.
Harry and wife Meghan Markle were pictured laying flowers at the Los Angeles National Cemetery after Buckingham Palace reportedly denied his request to lay a wreath on his behalf.
The Times reports the now LA-based royal requested to have a wreath laid on his behalf at the Cenotaph Remembrance Sunday ceremony, which his father Prince Charles and brother Prince William attended without him this year.
It was the first time since leaving his role as a senior member of the royal family that Harry commemorated Remembrance Day with just Meghan by his side.
The Queen was reportedly not notified of Harry's request with the refusal leaving Harry "deeply saddened".
Harry served in the Armed Forced for a decade before returning to life as a full-time member of the royal family, with the Prince discussing the importance of the day on military podcast Declassified.
“The act of remembering, of remembrance, is a profound act of honour,” he told the podcast. “It's how we preserve the legacies of entire generations and show our gratitude for the sacrifices they made in order for us to be able to live the lives we live today.”
Publications report that Buckingham Palace and the Sussexes have neither confirmed nor denied the request and refusal.
Instead, Harry and Meghan picked flowers from their garden and left them at the graves of two Commonwealth soldiers – one from the Royal Australian Airforce and one from the Royals Canadian Artillery.
It didn't take long for UK TV presenter Piers Morgan to weigh in on their decision to have the moment photographed by Lee Morgan, a celebrity fashion photographer, with the host calling it a "PR stunt".
He wrote on Twitter: "Just outrageous - treating Remembrance Sunday like a PR opportunity, & trying to steal headlines from the real royals doing their duty back home."
Piers continued in another post: "If they wanted to be' 'left alone', they wouldn't do PR stunts every day to get media attention."
One Twitter user responded: "They aren't royal. This should not be a photo op."
However, many others wrote that as someone who spent ten years in the military, Harry had every right to lay down a wreath.
Others suggested that if the pair had done nothing for Remembrance Day they also would have been slammed, so it's a lose-lose situation for them.
According to The Sun, a close friend of Harry's shared: "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 [the] Invictus [Games], 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."
When Harry stepped down from his royal duties, he was hoping to continue with some of his military activities, however, the choice not to lay down a wreath on his behalf seems to indicate those hopes may be dashed.
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