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British RoyalsPrince Charles and Camilla

Prince Charles pays tribute to fallen police officers


@ClarenceHouse/Twitter

The Prince of Wales shared his “close and enduring connection with the Police Service” over the years during a dedication service for the new UK Police Memorial.

Located at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, the memorial was created to recognise the courage and sacrifice shown by the roughly 5,000 police officers killed in the line of duty since 1680.

Prince Charles, who serves as patron of the National Police Memorial Day, laid a wreath in honour of those who have dedicated their lives to protecting the public. He also spent time meeting with officers, bereaved family members, and representatives from policing charities.

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In a speech, Prince Charles said, “I would particularly like to express my profound gratitude for the valour and sacrifice of those who have laid down their lives to keep us safe; to remember their families who mourn and to recognise those who continue to serve in order to safeguard our freedoms.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also attended the dedication, clearly struggling with his umbrella during the rainy event.

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The new memorial, which cost £4 million, is a 12-metre high brass structure and was designed by Walter Jack to look like “an open door at the start of a journey.”

The Prince of Wales’s speech reads in full:

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so very pleased and proud to be able to join you today on this most special of occasions as, together, we dedicate this splendid National Police Memorial, recognising the unique contribution of British Policing to our country and across the world. 

I need hardly say that I am proud to have had a close and enduring connection with the Police Service, long before becoming Patron of the National Police Memorial Day – a day that itself acts as a reminder of the true meaning of public service and the high price which is too often paid by police officers and their families for their dedication to duty. 

Ever since the earliest recorded death of an unknown Constable in 1680, approximately 5,000 men and women from our Police Service have died in the line of duty, notably 221 since the turn of this century. 

To those of you with personal experience of the sudden, unexpected and tragic loss of someone in the Police Service, whether you are here today, viewing from home or attending one of the many services within your constabularies, I can only offer the assurance of my most heartfelt thoughts and prayers. 

On behalf of the nation, I would particularly like to express my profound gratitude for the valour and sacrifice of those who have laid down their lives to keep us safe; to remember their families who mourn and to recognise those who continue to serve in order to safeguard our freedoms.  Whilst our expressions of appreciation will always be hopelessly inadequate and, unfortunately, make the anguish no easier to bear, I do pray that this Memorial will not only provide a hallowed place for us all to pay tribute to each of them but also the reassurance that those who have given their lives so selflessly will leave a lasting legacy and will never be forgotten.

About author

Kristin is Chief Reporter for Royal Central and has been following the British royal family for more than 30 years. Kristin has appeared in UK and U.S. media outlets discussing the British royals including BBC Breakfast, BBC World News, Sky News, the Associated Press, TIME, The Washington Post, and many others.