Royal Family unite in France for Somme tribute
Senior members of Britain’s Royal Family joined more than 10,000 people to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.
The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry stood side-by-side with politicians – including Prime Mister David Cameron, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and French President Francois Hollande – at the Thiepval Memorial in northern France today (01.07.16) as they paid respect to all those who fought in the First World War.
The memorial commemorates the 70,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers with no known grave.
The Battle of Somme lasted 141 days and claimed over a million of British, French and German lives, with almost 20,000 British soldiers being killed on the first day.
Writing in the programme for Friday’s commemoration in France, Prince Charles wrote that “their sacrifice and suffering will never be forgotten”.
He added: ‘It is truly terrifying to imagine the destruction wrought across this landscape 100 years ago today. However, we now return to the battlefield in a spirit of reconciliation and respect.
“We honour the men who served from across Britain and Ireland, the Commonwealth and from France. We remember, too, the men from Germany who fought and fell in this most futile of conflicts. Their perseverance and courage when faced with such a monumental challenge are truly humbling.”
The royal family have been attending events in France and in the UK over the past couple of days.
At 7.30am this morning – the same the moment whistles were blown and some 120,000 men went “over the top” on the first day of the battle 100 years ago – people paid respect by observing two minutes’ silence.