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Royal News

Royal families pay tribute to fallen at D-Day commemorations

Royalty from across Europe gathered in Normandy to attend D-Day 80 commemorations, joining other world leaders in paying tribute to the veterans who served and sacrificed in one of the Second World War’s biggest campaigns.

The Prince of Wales represented the British Royal Family at the Omaha Beach commemoration. Earlier in the day, he attended the Canadian event at Juno Beach. Elsewhere, King Charles and Queen Camilla attended the British Normandy Memorial event.

King Frederik unveiled a new Danish memorial wall near Utah Beach in Normandy before attending the main event at Ohama Beach.

There were over 800 Danish seafarers who participated in the D-Day Landings, and in a speech to officially unveil the memorial wall, the King said: “More than 800 Danes contributed to this extensive operation. The majority of them were sailors from the Danish merchant navy, who – faced with the occupation of Denmark in April 1940 – had chosen to fight under the Allied flag with their ships.

“During the War, more than half of the approximately 250 Danish ships under allied flags were sunk. Almost a thousand Danish sailors never saw their homeland or family again.”

Crown Prince Haakon represented the Norwegian Royal Family at the events. King Harald has undertaken a reduced workload following his prolonged hospitalisation earlier this year; meaning the Crown Prince represents him increasingly at events like this.

The Norwegian Royal Court shared that Crown Prince Haakon was accompanied by Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram for the events in Normandy.

The royal attended the Allied Countries’ event at Omaha Beach, but also visited the Norwegian monument in Hermanville-sur-Mer to meet with descendants of the Norwegian soldiers who stormed the beaches.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima were joined by Dutch Prime Minister Rutte and Defense Minister Ollongren at the Omaha Beach ceremony.

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde led the Belgian delegation to Omaha Beach.

Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg attended the event with a delegation of government and military leaders within the country.

Prince Albert attended events in France on Wednesday and Thursday. Among his visits were Sainte-Mère-Eglise, which became one of the first French villages to be liberated following the D-Day Landings; and the British Normandy Memorial event also attended by King Charles and Queen Camilla.

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.