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The Netherlands

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima to mark start of ’75 Years of Freedom’

By Defensie, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wiki Commons

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will attend a Second World War commemoration service at the end of the month marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945.

The service will take place on August 31st in Terneuzen, in the province of Zeeland, and King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will be joined by the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, the Defence Minister, and the State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport.

While the service will begin a year of commemorations for the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, it will mainly focus on the liberation of the southern part of the country and the Battle of the Scheldt, which took place from 2 October to 8 November 1944.

The Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, will give a speech at the service, and countries that took part in the battle have been invited to attend the service. This would include British, Canadian and Polish dignitaries and veterans. The Dutch Royal House has confirmed that the full guest list will be revealed closer to the event.

King Willem-Alexander will also ring a buoy bell in Scheldt to commemorate the day. Following this, a fleet and flight parade will take place.

The fleet parade will include former Allied countries and “aims to ‘reopen’ the Scheldt symbolically and stress the importance of unity and free access to waterways and harbours today,” per the Europe Remembers website.

The Battle of the Scheldt was fought to open the shipping lanes to Antwerp, Belgium, so that valuable supplies could be sent to the Allies. The battle lasted nearly five weeks, and casualties numbered over 12,000, but finally the Allies won and opened the shipping lanes. The liberation of the Netherlands was secured on 5 May 1945.

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Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.