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The Queen and her family visit Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery at Bayeux

The Queen accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, will attended the Service of Remembrance at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery at Bayeux and meet veterans of the Second World War.

Bayeux Cemetery is the largest Commonwealth cemetery of the Second World War in France and includes the burials brought in from the surrounding districts and hospitals. The Cemetery contains 4,144 Commonwealth graves of which 338 are unidentified and 504 are from other Nationalities (mainly German). The Bayeux Memorial stands opposite the cemetery and bears the names of more than 1,800 Commonwealth soldiers who died during the Normandy landing and advance to the Seine and have no known grave.

An Anglo-French tri-service Guard of Honour, present at the entrance to the cemetery, gave the Royal Salute as The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall arrived.

The Prime Minister of France; the National President of the Royal British Legion, Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson; the National President of the Normandy Veterans, Brigadier David Baines and the Vice President of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Air Chief Marshal Sir Joe French met and greeted the Royal couple.

The group waited for the arrival of Her Majesty and The Duke of Edinburgh. Upon their arrival, the Royal party proceeded along the central avenue. During their walk, a memorial flight, including a Lancaster Bomber and two Spitfires, flew overhead.

During the service, Her Majesty laid a wreath. The Prince of Wales and Prime Minister Valls laid wreaths at the same time, on each side of the Memorial Cross, to symbolise the strength of the bilateral relationship. The British Prime Minister, the Prime Minister of Australia, New Zealand’s Governor General and then the Presidents of the veterans associations also placed wreaths at the memorial

After the wreath-laying ceremony, prayers and a hymn followed with The Prince of Wales reading the lesson (Romans, 8:31-39).

Her Majesty, The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall, met staff from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and groups of veterans after the service. The British Prime Minister, the Australian Prime Minister, New Zealand’s Governor General and the French Prime Minister then presented veterans from their nations.

The Queen and Prince Philip said their goodbyes and departed. They will attend a lunch for Heads of State and Government given by the President of the French Republic at the Château de Bénouville. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall remained at the cemetery, to meet with Commonwealth War Graves staff and Normandy campaign veterans.

Featured photo credit: Mikepaws via photopin cc

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