This weekend, Prince Joachim and Princess Marie were in Braine, France to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.
During World War One, Denmark was neutral, but 35000 Danish soldiers at the border between Denmark and Germany fought for the German army. Indeed, Southern Jutland was part of the German Empire at the time. Southern Jutland was reunited with Denmark in 1920.
The only Danish Cemetery in France is located in Braine. Braine is twinned with Haderslev, a Danish city in Southern Jutland. The cemetery was officially reopened by Prince Joachim back in June 2013, and 79 fallen soldiers are buried there.
On Saturday evening, they were welcomed by Braine’s Mayor François Rampelberg before attending a friendship dinner. They also attended a concert of the Slesvigske Musikkorps at Saint-Yved Church. This concert was a gift from Haderslev to Braine.
Prince Joachim said: “I am pleased that so many participants from Sønderjylland have found their way to Braine to mark this important day. It’s been five years since I was here to reopen the Danish cemetery with fallen Danish soldiers from South Jutland, and now I’m happy to return and mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. “
On Sunday morning, Prince Joachim and Princess Marie attended a church service and a ceremony at the Danish Cemetery where Joachim made a speech in French.
Princess Marie said: “I grew up with the tradition that on November 11, we remember the soldiers who fell in World War One like all French children. So that today I can show my respect to the soldiers who never returned home is very moving.”
On 11th November, Queen Margrethe also commemorated the end of World War One in Aarhus, Denmark. She took part in a ceremony to honour the approximatively 5000 Danish Jews soldiers who died during the war.