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The Duke of Cambridge gives speech for VJ Day’s 75th anniversary

The Duke of Cambridge gave a speech on Saturday evening as part of the nation’s commemorations for VJ Day’s 75th anniversary.

In a pre-recorded speech as part of BBC One’s VJ Day 75 – The Nation’s Tribute, William spoke of the bravery of the soldiers involved, and how his great-grandfather, King George VI, celebrated the end of the conflict.

“As he marked the moment the world had long prayed for, King George expressed his pride in the international effort from across the Commonwealth and allied nations which secured success in the Asia-Pacific region.

“We are forever grateful to all those who fought alongside us.

“It is hard for us to imagine what Victory over Japan Day must have felt like at the time; a mix of happiness, jubilation, and sheer relief, together with a deep sadness and overwhelming sense of loss for those who would never return home.

“Today we remember those who endured terrible suffering and honour all those who lost their lives.”

William recorded his speech earlier this month at The Guards Memorial near the Horse Guards Parade in London.

He continued: “As we look back, we must not forget our responsibility to learn the lessons of the past and ensure that the horrors of the Second World War are never repeated.

“We owe that to our veterans, to their families, and to the generations who will come after us.

“As we mark the 75th anniversary of Victory over Japan Day, to each and every one of you who contributed to the effort, I say, thank you, our country owes you a debt of gratitude.

“Your bravery, and the sacrifices you made, will never be forgotten.”

William also spoke of his grandfather, Prince Philip, and his experience during the Second World War. The Duke of Edinburgh had been aboard the HMS Whelp in Tokyo Bay as the Japanese surrendered to the United States.

“He remembers vividly his role in collecting released prisoners of war, a sign, as sure as any to him, that the war was finally over,” William said.

The Royal Family was out in full force to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attended a service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas. The Royal Family social media accounts shared recollections throughout the day of the Second World War and VJ Day in 1945, including photos of Prince Philip during his military service.

About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.