On Tuesday, 5 June, after unveiling a plaque to commemorate the 20th anniversarty of the Eurotunnel, Her Majesty and The Duke of Edinburgh will embark on a State Visit to the French Republic. They will arrive at Paris Gare du Nord.
They will be received by President François Hollande at the Arc de Triomphe and afterwards for meetings at The Elysée Palace. Garden Party hosted by His Excellency Sir Peter Ricketts, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the French Republic, will be attended by Her Majesty and Prince Philip.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will also visit France to honour the 70th Anniversary of the D Day Invasion or as it was name “Operation Overlord.”
The Prince of Wales as Colonel in Chief of the Army Air Corps, and The Duchess of Cornwall will meet veterans of the Glider Pilot Regiment, at Pegasus Bridge and lay a wreath at the Glider Pilot Memorial. The Royal couple will visit 70th Power Boat Squadron and visit powerboats involved in the Normandy Landings.
The securing of Pegasus Bridge in the initial hours of D-Day was a key victory for the Allies. The control of Pegasus Bridge gave the Allies the chance to interrupt the Germans capability to bring in reinforcements to the Normandy beaches, especially those that the British and Canadians were landing at: Gold, Juno and Sword.
The Prince of Wales, Colonel in Chief, The Parachute Regiment, and Camilla will attend a Lunch with veterans at Ranville. The Prince will present, on behalf of the Parachute Regiment, a bust of Major Jack Watson MC to the Commune of Ranville, at the Marie of Ranville.
Watson, a platoon commander serving with 13th (Lancashire) Battalion, the Parachute Regiment (13 LBPR), landed in Normandy on D-Day. He was originally deployed at Pegasus Bridge and in the liberation of Ranville. It was Watson, who under heavy fire led the assault in 1945 in the Battle of the Ardennes.
The Royal couple will go their separate ways as Camilla who is Colonel-in-Chief of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, will meet veterans and serving members of the Regiment and afterwards tour the Juno Beach Centre, Courseulles-sur-Mer.
Charles as Colonel-in-Chief of The Parachute Regiment, will attend a commemorative parachute drop by representatives of British, American, French and Canadian Armed Forces, at Ranville. Charles will also attend a memorial service to commemorate the actions of Airborne Forces and the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, at Le Mesnil Bavent, France as well as a reception for veterans at Breville.
Thursday will see Princess Anne attending a Drumhead Service in commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Portsmouth. A Drumhead Service originates from the use of a drumhead as a makeshift altar for religious services, or a traditional gathering point for a regiment for orders or decisions.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be at Gold Beach to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D Day landings.Photo: Cindy Stockman 2010.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will attend the Royal British Legion Service of Remembrance at Bayeux Cathedral.
The event will include:
The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will attend the Service of Remembrance at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery at Bayeux and meet veterans of the Second World War. Later, the Royal family members will attend the Commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings at Sword Beach.
Sword Beach was the furthermost east of the five beaches intended for D-Day. The beach was about nine miles to the north-east of the crucial city of Caen and was less than ten miles from Gold Beach and four miles from the start of Juno Beach. Sword saw the least amount of resistance. At the end of the day, 29,000 men had been landed at Sword with 630 casualties. Allied forces had advanced approximately four miles inland and stabilised the area.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will attend the Canadian National Memorial Service at the Juno Beach Centre, Courseulles-sur-Mer, to commemorate Canada’s role in the Normandy Landings.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend a veterans’ tea party in the town of Arromanches. William and Catherine will also attend the Commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings at Gold Beach (Arromanches).
Out of the five designated targets for the Normandy landings, Gold Beach was in the centre. The sector called ‘Gold’ was five miles wide. At the western end of the beach was Arromanches, the site for the Mulberry Harbour. The Mulberry Harbour was an artificial harbor constructed and set up by the British. As Prince Philip’s Uncle, Lord Mountbatten stated: “As we have no harbour at our disposal, we shall bring ours.”
The different mechanisms would be built in Britain, towed across the Channel and constructed off the Normandy coast. The Mulberries contained floating roadways and pier heads which moved up and down with the tide. In order to circumvent rough seas, massive hollow concrete blocks and old hulks were sunk in order to configure a breakwater.
By midday on 6 June 1944, most of the designated beach was in British hands.
By evening of the same day, 25,000 men of the 50th Division had landed and the division had moved six miles inland and had connected with the Canadian forces that had landed at Juno Beach. Only 400 casualties had been taken whilst securing the beach, which may have seen many more.
Later on Friday, The Queen and Prince Philip will attend a lunch for Heads of State given by the President of the French Republic at the Château de Bénouville. In the evening, Her Majesty and The Duke of Edinburgh will attend a State Banquet given in her honour by President Hollande at the Elysée Palace.
As part of their visit to France, on Saturday, 7 June 2014, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will call on the Mayor of Paris Mme Anne Hidalgo at the Hotel de Ville. Her Majesty and Prince Philip will also visit the Marche aux Fleurs et aux Oiseaux where The Queen will be received by President Hollande. Later they will make a ceremonial departure from Villacoublay Airport.
photo Credits: humberpike via photopin cc and © 2010, Cindy Stockman.
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