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Princess Anne hosts garden party for veterans and service personnel at Buckingham Palace

The Princess Royal hosted a garden party at Buckingham Palace on Thursday where she welcomed veterans and serving servicemen and women to join in the celebrations.

The Queen’s daughter spent the afternoon speaking to the hundreds of guests invited in the grounds of the palace, including 99-year-old Edward Morrison.

Mr Morrison, who travelled down to the palace from Liverpool, served with the Lancashire Fusiliers.

During his military career, Mr Morrison served at conflicts including Dunkirk.

4,500 members of the Expeditionary Force perished during the Battle of Dunkirk. In 1940, Allied forces in France who were fighting against the Germans were surrounded and forced to retire to the beaches of Dunkirk, France. When they were there, they were rescued by a fleet of civilian ships and taken across the Channel to England.

Operation Dynamo, as it was known, resulted in the safe evacuation of over 338,000 members of the British Expeditionary Force.

Speaking of his time at the Buckingham Palace garden party, Mr Morrision said: “It means a lot to me to be here.”

Also invited to the garden party were representatives of the Not Forgotten Association, a charity of which Princess Anne is patron.

Created in 1920, the ‘Not Forgotten’ Association (NFA) is a tri-service charity which provides entertainment, leisure and recreation activities for wounded, injured or sick ex-service men and women of all ages.

The NFA Garden Party takes place annually following a tradition which began during WWI, when wounded soldiers were invited to attend tea parties either at the Royal Mews or in the Garden at Buckingham Palace. The first NFA Garden Party was held in 1921, hosted by Princess Mary, as the charity’s Royal Patron

Famous faces also attended the party including Dame Shirley Bassey and Fatima Whitbread.

Ms Whitbread, a former javelin world record holder, had a grandfather who served in the Royal Navy.

She said: “It’s nice to be able to come along and make this a nicer day for our wartime heroes who have done so much for us.

“It’s wonderful to be able to mix among the true heroes and heroines of our time.'”

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