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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attend Canadian Remembrance at the Juno Beach Centre

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attended a Canadian National Service of Remembrance at the Juno Beach Centre, Courseulles-sur-Mer, to commemorate Canada’s role in the Normandy Landings.

Charles and Camilla arrived at Juno Beach and were greeted by the Prime Minister of Canada, the Rt. Hon Stephen Harper and Mrs Laureen Harper as well as the Prime Minister of France, Monsieur Manuel Valls. The Royal couple attended the service of Remembrance and The Prince of Wales delivered a speech. After the service Charles and his wife met Canada’s D-Day veterans.

Canada played a central role in the triumph of the Allied landings on D-Day. The 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and the 2nd Armoured Brigade were established a bridgehead on a beachfront codenamed “Juno”. This was an eight-kilometre long stretch of beach bordering Saint-Aubin, Bernières, Courseulles-sur-Mer and Graye-sur-Mer.

Canadian paratroopers landed just east of the assault beaches, the Royal Canadian Navy contributed ships and sailors as part of reinforcements for the landings, and the Royal Canadian Air Force assisted in the preparation for the invasion by bombing targets inland.

More than 14,000 Canadians participated in the Normandy landings. Over 300 men were killed and many more wounded.

The Juno Beach Centre is Canada’s Second World War museum and cultural centre located in Normandy, France. The Centre pays tribute to the 45,000 Canadians who lost their lives during the War, of which 5,500 were killed during the Battle of Normandy and 359 on D-Day.

In 2003, the centre was opened by veterans and volunteers who wished to create a permanent memorial to all Canadians who served during the Second World War.

Featured photo credit: UK in France via photopin cc

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