Widow meets Prince Harry at remembrance event

The widow of a soldier killed in Afghanistan met Prince Harry at a remembrance event.

Friday, 7th November 2014, 12:07 pm
Prince Harry meets widow Lisa McKinlay as he arrives to open the 86th Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey, London.

The Prince spoke with Lisa McKinlay, from Garstang, near Preston, as he paid his respects to the fallen at the Field of Remembrance outside Westminster Abbey.

Lisa’s husband Lance Corporal Jonathan McKinlay, 33, was killed in Afghanistan in September 2011.

Jonathan, who was affectionately known as ‘JJ’, was in the 1st Battalion The Rifles.

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The 33-year-old was killed by a burst of small arms fire while on patrol with his team and members of the Afghan Uniform Police in a village near to his checkpoint.

He had been in Afghanistan a couple of months and had been home for a week of rest and relaxation before he was killed 10 days after returning to the country.

The couple had been married for just 10 months.

Lisa, 35, said: “It is nerve racking but I like attending these events because for me it’s about remembering my husband.”

She described Harry as “lovely”, adding: “I have a lot of respect for him anyway.

“It’s nice to speak to someone who knows what the processes are. When you are talking to him you know that he knows.”

Harry, spent the morning meeting veterans and members of the Royal British Legion and Poppy Factory at Westminster Abbey as he was shown around the 100,000 crosses that have been planted at the Field of Remembrance in memory of fallen soldiers.

He laid a cross of remembrance in front of two wooden crosses from the graves of unknown British soldiers from the First and Second World Wars.

This is the second time Harry, who was wearing a Blues and Royals frock coat, has visited the Field of Remembrance, as he accompanied the Duke of Edinburgh last year. The late Queen Mother also carried out this engagement.

The first Field of Remembrance was held in the grounds of Westminster Abbey in November 1928. That year only two Remembrance Tribute Crosses were planted. But it began a tradition that took root and has grown over the decades. The Field of Remembrance will be open until November 16.