Princess Royal to commemorate D-Day anniversary with veterans in Normandy

The Princess Royal will join British and Canadian military veterans in Normandy to mark the 80th anniversary of the Second World War D-Day landings.

Anne will take part in a series of events commemorating the sacrifices of the Allied forces on the eve of the decisive invasion of Europe on June 6 1944.

In the UK, the King, Queen, Prince of Wales and Rishi Sunak will attend a national commemorative event in Portsmouth with veterans.

In her role as Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regina Rifles, a Canadian military unit, the King’s sister, joined by her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, will unveil a statute of a rifleman from the regiment and later attend a reception with former soldiers.

Nicknamed “The Johns”, the unit was one of the first infantry regiments to storm Juno Beach 80 years ago with other Canadian forces.

Later, Anne and Sir Tim will join Normandy veterans and French representatives at a Royal British Legion service of commemoration at Bayeux War Cemetery, where the princess will lay a wreath at the Cross of Sacrifice.

The Bayeux War Cemetery is France’s largest Commonwealth cemetery of the Second World War and is the final resting place of more than 4,000 military casualties. The site is run by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, an organisation the princess supports as president.

During her day in Normandy, Anne will attend the annual service of remembrance at Bayeux Cathedral where she will read a lesson and take part in a procession, led by pipers from France, Germany and the UK.

It will return the royal to the military cemetery for a vigil where she will lay a posy at the Grave of the Unknown Soldier and give a speech on behalf of the nation.

The day will also see hundreds of Armed Forces service personnel take part in a parachute drop into a historic D-Day zone to pay tribute to the contribution of airborne forces 80 years ago.

Paratroopers from the UK, Canada, Belgium and the US will take part in the commemorations near Sannerville, followed by a display by the British Army’s Red Devils.

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