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Princes Charles, William and Harry attend Vimy Ridge memorial with Justin Trudeau

Yesterday marked the centenary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the four-day battle that turned World War One.

To honour the occasion, Prince Charles was joined by his two sons, Princes William and Harry, among other dignitaries.

Queen Elizabeth sent a message to Canadian’s who lost 3,598 servicemen. In her message, she spoke of the importance to “remember and honour those who served so valiantly and who gave so much”.

The letter continued: “On this day a century ago, thousands of Canadian soldiers stood far from home together with their allies in defence of peace and freedom.”

The ceremony at the Canadian National Memorial near Arras, France was attended by approximately 25,000 people, many of those who have relatives that were part of the battle.

Prince Charles gave a speech, speaking of the soldiers that “set an extraordinary example of selflessness for our future generations.”


He continued, saying: “This was, and remains, the single bloodiest day in Canadian military history,

“Yet Canadians displayed a strength of character and commitment to one another that is still evident today.

“They did not waver. This was Canada at its best. The Canadians at Vimy embodied the true north, strong and free.”

Others at the centenary included French President Francois Hollande and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Prime Minster Trudeau also spoke to the crowd, saying: “The burden, they bore. And, the country they made.

“Because this, too, is why we’re here. Why we remember.”

Trudeau added on that the Canadian National Memorial “symbolic of Canada’s birth and our enduring commitment to peace”, and that “One hundred years later, we must say this, together. And we must believe it: Never again.”


Princes William and Harry also played a part in the day by each laying a pair of boots acting as a symbolic tribute to those who lost their lives.


William and Harry then joined their father for a guided tour through the preserved trenches, gaining an understanding what the soldiers of the day experienced.


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