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Royal News

The Prince of Wales thanks Canadian veterans for “our freedom” in emotional speech on Juno Beach

The Prince of Wales led the Royal Family’s tribute to Canadian veterans at commemorations for the 80th anniversary of D-Day , commending those who served and thanking them for “our freedom.”

Prince William attended the D-Day 80 commemorative event at Juno Beach along with Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, Canadian veterans, and French Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal.

At the event in Courseulles-sur-Mer in Normandy, the Prince of Wales gave a speech remarking on how the Canadians stood shoulder-to-shoulder with their British counterparts and stormed the sand dunes that all the officials were gathered on.

He said “Standing here today, in peaceful silence, it is almost impossible to grasp the courage it would have taken to run into the fury of battle that very day.”

Canadian soldiers played an important role in the D-Day Landings—particularly on Juno Beach. Over 5,000 soldiers were killed in the Battle of Normandy and 381 lost their lives on D-Day. In total, 45,000 Canadians lost their lives during the Second World War.

Of their bravery, the Prince said: “All of you demonstrated heroism and determination that ensured fascism was conquered.

“The commitment to service displayed by Canadian troops is a great testament to the strength of the people of Canada.”

Prince William spoke of the close relationship between Canada and the United Kingdom, saying: “Canada and the UK continue to stand side by side as we did in 1944. Just as strong together, 80 years later.”

He then turned to the few Canadian D-Day veterans who were able to make the trip across the ocean and personally thanked them in French—Canada’s second official language—saying “Thank you for our freedom, and thank you for your service.”

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.