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The Princess Royal to visit Belgium for war commemorations

Anne, the Princess Royal will visit Belgium on Saturday 11 November. The Princess will be in the country for war commemorations.

The Princess Royal has a busy day ahead as she’ll visit the Western part of Belgium. She starts her day with a visit to Talbot House. During the First World War Poperinge, where now Talbot House is located, it was part of the small unoccupied part of Belgium. In the house, Neville Talbot and Philip “Tubby” Clayton opened a sort of pub where soldiers could relax and have a moment of peace. Today the House is a museum and a B&B.

At 11 am the Princess Royal is expected at the Menin Gate in Ypres. Several speeches will be given, and the Last Post will be played. Every day at 8 pm the Last Post is played at the Menin Gate in honour of the soldiers who have lost their lives during the war. So far the Princess Royal will not be greeted by the Belgian Royal Family as King Philippe and Queen Mathilde are still in India and Princess Astrid will represent the King at the ceremony at the Congress Column in Brussels. It is unknown if Prince Laurent is going to attend any of the war commemorations.

After a quick lunch break, Anne will visit Tyne Cot Cemetry, the largest British war cemetery on the mainland of Europe. 11, 956 soldiers of the Commonwealth are buried there, together with a number of German prisoners-of-war who died in Allied hands. The cemetery also contains a memorial to the missing. Additionally, there is a visitors’ centre which Her Majesty opened in 2007.

Then the Princess Royal will visit a workshop and attend a reception at Commonwealth War Graves Commission Office back in Ypres.

At the end of the day, Anne will visit Bedford House Cemetery in Zonnebeke. It is a is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission burial ground for the dead of the First and Second World War. King Albert I donated the grounds to the United Kingdom for their sacrifices during the war.

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