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Prince Charles and the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge to visit Belgium to commemorate Passchendaele

The Prince of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit Belgium to mark commemorations marking the 100th anniversary of the first day of Passchendale – The Third Battle of Ypres.

The royal trio will attend the centenary event on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen and will attend a number of engagements in the country.

On Sunday 30th July, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend the Last Post ceremony at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Ypres Memorial. They will be joined by 200 descendants whose revetives are named on the Gate. These decendants will act as representatived from nations who fought on the Salient.

On Sunday evening, William and Catherine will visit Market Square in Ypres, for an event that will tell the story of the four years of war on the Salient with performances and music set to a backdrop of light projections onto the historic Cloth Hall.

A day later on Monday 31st July, The Prince of Wales will join the Duke and Duchess for the commemorations at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Tyne Cot Cemetery for the official events to mark the centenary of Passchendaele.

The royals will be joined by Prime Minister Theresa May, who interupts her three week holiday to attend the commenorations.

The heir-to-the-throne will then officially open the Zonnebeke Church Dugout, a preserved First World War dugout which forms part of the Memorial Museum Passchendaele.

He will open the nearby British Memorial Poppy Garden in Passchendaele Memorial Park alongside The King and Queen of Belgium.

After he has opened both the dugout and poppy garden, the prince will join hundreds of guests at the Exhibition Field at The Passchendaele Memorial Park to meet families and descendants of those who died at Passchendaele.

Prince Charles will then visit the Welsh National Service of Remembrance at the Welsh National Memorial Park to remember the Welsh soldiers who lost their lives in battle.

The Third Battle of Ypres, known as Passchendaele, began in the early hours of 31st July 1917. Its primary objective was to dislodge German forces from the high ground around the city of Ypres (now Ieper) and then advance to Belgian coastal ports from where German U-boats threatened Allied shipping.

An estimated 500,000 men on both sides had been killed, wounded, were captured or missing in the battle.

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