The Prince of Wales joined Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands in a tribute to the heroes of the Second World War and the commemoration of Operation Market Garden.
Prince Charles – the Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment – travelled to the Ginkel Heath landing zone on Saturday where 1,500 parachutists from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the United States, Germany, France, Poland and Belgium made a commemorative jump. Among them was veteran Sandy Cortmann – 97 years old – who made a tandem jump with a parachutist from the Army’s Red Devils display team.
The Prince of Wales placed a wreath with the handwritten message, “In everlasting remembrance, Charles.” He later met Mr Cortmann and other veterans.
After the service at Ginkel Heath, Prince Charles made his way to the St Eusebius Church in Arnhem where he marked the completion of the renovation works and unveiled a plague. The church was almost completely destroyed during the Battle of Arnhem and the tower had collapsed. He also met with several schoolchildren whose drawings – based on conversations with people who lived through the battle – are on display inside the church.
He continued his whirlwind visit in the cities of Oosterbeek and Driel. In Driel, the commemorations focussed on the Polish contributions during Operation Market Garden and it was also attended by three Polish veterans. The day ended in Oosterbeek where Prince Charles viewed a replica of a Horsa glider in a hangar across from the Airborne museum. The museum later hosted a reception for the British Embassy.