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Queen and senior royals honour 70th anniversary of VE Day

On Sunday, The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attended the National Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey marking the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe.

Her Majesty the Queen Attends VE70 Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey

One thousand veterans and their guests were present on Sunday for the Abbey Service. The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall led the service that included readings by veterans, the themes of thanksgiving for reconciliation and unity, and prayers for peace.

The Archbishop of Canterbury delivered the Address, and there also was an Act of Recommitment towards the end of the service.

VE Day marks the official end of World War II on the European front following the unconditional surrender of German Forces on 8 May 1945.

VE Day is both a time of celebration as well as reflecting on those who lost their lives during the Second World War.

The anniversary is a celebration of the accomplishments of the UK, the Commonwealth and the allies in their victory against Fascism both overseas and at home. It also pays tribute to the 580,406 UK and Commonwealth Forces and 67,073 UK civilians who lost their lives during the six years that was World War II.

The Band of the Royal Marines at the VE70 Commemorations today in London. HM The Queen led the nation in marking VE Day 70 today (Sunday 10 May), at a Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey. The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, members of The Royal Family, the Prime Minister, and nearly 1,000 veterans and their families attended the service, with representatives of Allied Nations and Commonwealth countries who fought alongside Britain in the conflict.   Led by the Dean of Westminster the service included thanksgiving for reconciliation and unity, prayers for peace, with Address given by the Archbishop of Canterbury.   Afterwards, over 1,000 veterans from both military and civilian services, organisations and associations representing those who fought in the Second World War in Europe, led by 400 members of the Armed Forces, paraded from the Abbey and up Whitehall, past the famous balcony where Winston Churchill appeared before the crowds on VE Day after his famous speech to mark Victory in Europe. The Prince of Wales took the salute as the parade entered Horse Guards Parade, and aircraft from the RAF?s historic Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, followed by the Red Arrows, flew overhead paying tribute to the veterans as they marched. For further information, please contact Charlotte Mcleod at the Ministry of Defence on 07415 140 222, email: charlotte.mcleod@DDC-MOD.org For further information, please contact Charlotte Mcleod at the Ministry of Defence on 07415 140 222, email: charlotte.mcleod@DDC-MOD.org For further information, please contact Charlotte Mcleod at the Ministry of Defence on 07415 140 222, email: charlotte.mcleod@DDC-MOD.org

The Band of the Royal Marines at the VE70 Commemorations today in London

The second engagement of the day had Charles and Camilla view a March Past by World War II Veterans and a Fly Past by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Red Arrows at Horse Guards. Prince Charles took the Salute.

The parade joined current Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force personnel and around 1,000 veterans along with their carers and guests. Supporting those participating were the tri-Service bands and pipes and Drums – both within the parade, and posted along the parade route.

The parade route began at Broad Sanctuary, on to Parliament Square, then to Parliament Street, before moving on to Whitehall and Horse Guards Parade. Upon arrival, the parade assembled before performing a salute.

A flypast of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Red Arrows soared over Horse Guards to conclude the event.

Following the parade, Charles and Camilla attended a Veteran’s Reception in St James’s Park.

The parade led by the Band of the Royal Marines with Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army, and RAF marching contingents.

The parade led by the Band of the Royal Marines with Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army, and RAF marching contingents.

The reception hosted by The Royal British Legion honoured the veterans attending the Service and parade, and their families.

On Friday, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, lit the first in the series of over 200 beacons throughout the UK to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe.

A Service of Remembrance was held at The Cenotaph in Whitehall on Friday and attended by The Duke of York, who paid tribute to those who lost their lives during the Second World War in Europe.

photo credit: Crown Copyright 2015, defence imagery

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