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The Queen: ‘on behalf of the whole free world, thank you’

The Queen has paid tribute to the strength of those who fought on D-Day, 75 years ago, as she was joined by US President Donald Trump at commemorations marking the anniversary of the Normandy landings. President Trump was at the Queen’s side as she stood to deliver a heartfelt and emotional speech to veterans and families gathered in Portsmouth.

”When I attended the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the D-Day Landings, some thought it might be the last such event. But the wartime generation – my generation – is resilient, and I am delighted to be with you in Portsmouth today” Her Majesty said as she began her remarks at the special commemoration which was attended by leaders of the sixteen allied nations involved in D-Day. Her speech went on to focus on the bravery of those who took part in the landings on June 6th 1944.

”75 years ago, hundreds of thousands of young soldiers, sailors and airmen left these shores in the cause of freedom. In a broadcast to the nation at that time, my Father, King George VI, said: “…what is demanded from us all is something more than courage and endurance; we need a revival of spirit, a new unconquerable resolve…” That is exactly what those brave men brought to the battle, as the fate of the world depended on their success.”

”Many of them would never return, and the heroism, courage and sacrifice of those who lost their lives will never be forgotten. It is with humility and pleasure, on behalf of the entire country – indeed the whole free world – that I say to you all, thank you.”

There seemed to be a slight waver in the Queen’s voice as she delivered her heartfelt thanks at the end of her speech and it was followed by a brief moment of silence and reflection before those present joined her in applauding the veterans who represent the many thousands who took part in D-Day.

The Queen was joined by the Prince of Wales at the commemorative event at Southsea, Portsmouth. It included readings by many of the leaders there, including Donald Trump and Theresa May, as well as musical performances from stars including Sheridan Smith.

Before the event got under way, the Queen and the Prince of Wales posed for an historic photograph with the world leaders attending the commemorations. They later got the chance to meet some of the veterans who were present and perhaps pass on once more, and in more personal circumstances, the heartfelt thanks that marked the Queen’s speech on the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

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