D-Day 70th Anniversary Commemorations
Royals from across Europe, as well as many heads of state, have gathered in Normandy to mark the seventieth anniversary of the D-Day landings, the Allied invasion of German-occupied territory which became the beginning of the end of World War Two.
This morning, local time, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall attended a Royal British Legion service at the Bayeux Cathedral, as did British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha.
It was then on to a service of remembrance at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery, which was also attended by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. The Queen called the landings an “immense and heroic endeavour” in a statement printed in the official booklet for the anniversary. Both she and the Prince of Wales laid wreaths at the base of the Cross of Sacrifice during the service.
Meanwhile, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands attended a commemoration ceremony in Arromanches, along with Prime Minister Rutte. They met with Dutch veterans of the Princess Irene Brigade and the Naval Air Service who took part in the landings.
Norway’s King Harald V was in Hermanville-sur-Mer, where he attended a French-Norwegian memorial service. Yesterday, the King attended a service in Villons-les-Buisson, where he spoke with veterans and participated in the official naming of three streets after Norway in honour of the country’s participation in the landings.
French President François Hollande hosted a lunch for the heads of state and government attending the commemorations at Château de Bénouville. To mark the event, a photograph of the 19 world leaders present was taken on the steps of the Château. Present were the aforementioned royals, as well as King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, Prince Albert II of Monaco, US President Barrack Obama, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, New Zealand Governor-General Jerry Mateparae and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Key.
The official party then moved on to the official commemoration service at Sword Beach in Ouistreham, where veterans from each of the countries represented were present. The service included reenactments of the landings, dance routines representing the war and a fireworks display.
While the official ceremony was taking place, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were present at a service at Gold Beach in Arromanches, where the Duke gave a speech discussing the need for the younger generations to remember the sacrifices made by veterans during the Second World War. They also attended a tea party with veterans.Filed under Belgian Royals, British Royals, Danish Royals, Dutch Royals, Luxembourg Royals, Monaco Royals, Norwegian Royals
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