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Royal News

King Charles speaks of “obligation to remember” D-Day veterans at British event

In the opening moments of his speech at the British Normandy Memorial at Ver-sur-Mer, King Charles recalled how his grandfather had called the D-Day Landings the “Supreme Test” and praised the brave men and women who undertook the day’s challenges.

“How fortunate we were, and the entire free world, that a generation of men and women in the United Kingdom and other Allied nations did not flinch when the moment came to face that test,” he said.

King Charles and Queen Camilla attended the D-Day 80 National Commemoration Service at the British Normandy Memorial on Thursday, joining UK leaders Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Keir Stammer; and French President Emmanuel Macron.

At the ceremony were also a handful of remaining veterans who stormed the very beaches the King stood in front of; and the poignancy of the day was not lost on anyone in attendance.

The King said that it was our duty to remember the D-Day veterans, and those who lost their lives in the ultimate sacrifice, and recalled how, over the past 40 years he’s attended many D-Day commemorative events and met so many veterans.

“Our ability to learn from their stories at first hand diminishes. But our obligation to remember them, what they stood for and what they achieved for us all can never diminish.”

The King also issued a plea that we never find ourselves in a situation like the Second World War again. “Let us affirm that we will strive to live by their example; let us pray such sacrifice need never be made again; and let us commit to carrying forward their resounding message of courage and resilience in the pursuit of freedom…”

Following the poignant ceremony, King Charles and Queen Camilla spent time with veterans. They later visited the newly-opened Winston Churchill Education and Learning Centre to see the interactive displays about the soldiers who fought and sacrificed their lives in the Second World War.

The Royal Family posted “We will remember them” on their social media accounts.

While King Charles and Queen Camilla were in Ver-sur-Mer, Prince William attended Canada’s commemorative event at Juno Beach before travelling to the major event at Ohama Beach with other world leaders.

Back in the United Kingdom, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester paid tribute on the homefront.

About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.