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Princess Royal to travel to Russia for Arctic Convoys commemoration

It has been announced that Princess Anne will be visiting Russia on the 30th & 31st August to attend a number of commemorative events to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Arctic Convoys. These were an attempt by the Allies to provide vital equipment and supplies to Russia to help them in the fight against Adolf Hitler and the German forces during World War II. The Princess will be visiting Arkhangelsk, this was the delivery point for the convoy, and sadly the destination that three thousand allied sailors never arrived at.

When the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill announced the beginning of the Arctic Convoys he said that the ships would have to undertake the worst journey in the world. Sadly, his words proved to be accurate; during the campaign which ran from August 1941 to May 1945, 87 merchant ships and 18 Royal Naval vessels were lost. However, 1400 merchant vessels did successfully reach Russia and the food and equipment delivered was undoubtedly a great assistance in helping Russia turn the tide against the assault of German forces.

The Princess, who also recently attended the centenary commemoration of the Battle of Jutland, will be joined at the commemorative events by surviving sailors of the Arctic Convoys and also the Band of the Royal Marines. This will not be the first commemorative event Princess Anne has attended in the Soviet Union or Russia. In 1990 she met Mikhail Gorbachev and laid a wreath at a monument to Russian soldiers who died at the Battle of Stalingrad. More recently in 2014 following her attendance at the Sochi Winter Olympics, Princess Anne had a four-day visit to Moscow and St Petersburg, which included laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Kremlin Walls. She also unveiled a plaque in English and Russian which commemorates Russian soldiers who died in the First World War.

Princess Anne does wear a Naval uniform on events such as these as she is Admiral and Commandant-in-Chief of Women in the Royal Navy.

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