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Duke and Duchess of Cambridge make a surprise appearance at Anzac Day dawn service

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have made a surprise visit to the Anzac Day dawn service outside the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

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Anzac Day: Royals attend dawn service

RAW VISION: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the Anzac Day dawn service in Canberra, while thousands gathered in Sydney to commemorate the Gallipoli landings. Nine News.

The Duke and Duchess stood atop of the stairs before the memorial next to the Governor-General Peter Cosgrove and his wife throughout the service.

William and Catherine sang the service hymns with the crowd during the service, but did not join in the singing of the Australian national anthem.

The couple, who were both clad in black, left the war memorial shortly after the conclusion of the service and were to return to the Australian War Memorial at 10.30am for a national ceremony.

The royals will be accompanied by the Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Governor-General and will lay a floral tribute at the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met three of Australia's surviving Victoria Cross recipients, including Ben Roberts-Smith who addressed the dawn service crowd, on Thursday night at a reception hosted by the governor-general at Government House.

The royal couple will also attend the march at the memorial about 10.30am. They will law a wreath, attend the service and plant a tree.

They are expected to fly out of Canberra with George about 2pm, bound for home, confident that their trip to Australia has been a rewarding experience.