Published 26 May 2004

THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT IS ISSUED BY THE PRESS SECRETARY TO THE QUEEN

Members of the Royal Family will join veterans in commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Normandy Landings during the weekend 5-6 June 2004. The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and other members of the Royal Family will attend official events.

SATURDAY, 5TH JUNE

The Prince of Wales
The Prince of Wales will undertake engagements in Normandy, France.

The Prince of Wales will lay a wreath at the Memorial to the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, Creully, Normandy, France. The Prince of Wales is Colonel in Chief of the Royal Dragoon, formed in 1993 by the amalgamation of the 4th/7th RDG and the 5th Inniskillin Dragoon Guards. This will be the first opportunity HRH has had to meet 4th/7th RDG veterans.

The Prince of Wales, Colonel-in-Chief, the Parachute Regiment, will take the salute at the march-past of veterans of the 3rd Parachute Brigade, and later unveil a statue of their commander Brigadier James Hill DSO, Les Mesnil Crossroads, Normandy.

The march-past and unveiling of the statue at Les Mesnil Crossroads commemorates the actions of the 3rd Parachute Brigade on the night of 6th June 1944 and the following days as they established their headquarters at the Brickworks and then held the defences that prevented the German forces counter-attacking the beaches.

The Prince of Wales will attend a ceremony to honour the Royal Navy and Royal Marines contribution to the D-Day landings, Gare Maritime, Ouistreham, Normandy.

Over 4,000 landing craft and other vessels helped land the British, Canadian, French and Polish troops in the British sectors of Sword, Juno and Gold Beaches.

There will be a Naval Guard of Honour provided by HMS Campbeltown, with a Parade and Band of Royal Marines from No 1 Assault Group based at Poole. HRH will lay a wreath, plant a tree and meet the veterans.

The Prince of Wales, Colonel-in-Chief, the Army Air Corps, will unveil a replica Horsa Glider and meet veterans of the Glider Pilot Regiment and the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, at The Pegasus Museum, Benouville, Normandy.

The replica Horsa Glider is a new exhibit at the Pegasus Museum which commemorates the famous action by D Company The 2nd Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, which landed in three Horsa Gliders on the night of 6th June and captured Pegasus Bridge intact.
After unveiling the Horsa Glider, HRH will walk with the Glider Pilot Veterans to Pegasus Bridge and witness a fly-past by three helicopters from the Army Air Corps.

The Prince of Wales, Colonel-in-Chief, the Parachute Regiment, will witness a Mass Parachute Drop on the original site of the landing of the 5th Parachute Brigade and meet airborne forces veterans, Ranville, Normandy.

The Prince of Wales will open the British Garden of Remembrance at the Normandy Memorial Museum, Caen, Normandy. The British Memorial Garden at the Normandy memorial Garden in Caen has been created as a tribute to the fifteen British and allied Divisions which fought in the 80-day Battle for Normandy between June and August 1944.

HRH will take part in a formal parade before visiting the garden where he will meet a serving member and a veteran of each of the fifteen divisions.

The Duke of Gloucester will also attend the ceremony as Patron of the Normandy Veterans Association.

The Princess Royal
The Princess Royal will carry out commemorative engagements in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

In the morning Her Royal Highness will inspect a guard of honour by the Royal Regina Rifles at the Legislative Building, Regina. The Royal Regina Rifles were among the first troops going ashore on Juno Beach during the Normandy Landings of 1944. The Princess Royal has been Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment since 1982.

In the evening, Her Royal Highness will attend a D-Day Anniversary reception and dinner hosted by the Premier of Saskatchewan at Regina Inn.

The Duke of Gloucester
The Duke of Gloucester, Patron of the Normandy Veterans Association, will undertake engagements in Normandy, France.

In the morning The Duke of Gloucester will attend an event at Colleville-Montgomery to mark the contribution made by Field Marshal Montgomery during D-Day.

His Royal Highness will take the salute at a parade and march-past by the Normandy Veterans Association at the Statue to Field Marshal Montgomery in Colleville-Montgomery (Sword Beach). He will also attend a Normandy Insignia ceremony by the Mayor before meeting Veterans.

In the afternoon The Duke of Gloucester will be present at an event at the Normandy Memorial Museum in Caen, where The Prince of Wales will open the British Garden of Remembrance.

SUNDAY, 6TH JUNE

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh
The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, will represent the Nation and the Commonwealth at events in Normandy on Sunday, 6th June 2004.

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, will start the day at a Ceremony of Remembrance at the Juno Beach Centre at Courseulles-sur-Mer to commemorate Canada's role in the Normandy Landings.

During the event Her Majesty will lay a wreath on behalf of the Commonwealth and, together with the Governor General and the Canadian Prime Minister, will give a speech. The event will conclude with The Queen meeting Canadian Veterans.

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, will then attend a British-French Ceremony of Commemoration at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Bayeux, with President Chirac of France.

The event will begin with the playing of the French and British National Anthems before The Queen and the President review an Honour Guard.

The Queen and The President will then enter the Cemetery, where they will be met by The Duke of Gloucester and The Duke of Kent. The Queen and the President will walk into the Cemetery, where a Service of Commemoration will take place with Veterans from the Normandy Veterans Association. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will meet Veterans at the conclusion of the event.

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke Of Edinburgh, will attend the Heads of State lunch given by President Chirac of France at the Hôtel de Ville in Caen.

After lunch, The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will attend the International Parade and Ceremony of Commemoration at Arromanches, with the other Heads of State.

This event, which takes place on the top of the cliffs overlooking Arromanches Town, will include the presentation of a Légion d'Honneur to a representative veteran of each nation involved in D-Day.

There will also be a march-past and a fly-past by the Red Arrows and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight with HMS Gloucester and RFA Wave Knight stationed off-shore. An Honour Guard found by the Light Dragoons and the Band of the Royal Irish Regiment will also take part in the event.

The day will conclude in the town of Arromanches, where The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, will take the salute at the Normandy Veterans Association Farewell March-Past and Parade in the Town Square. Following the March-Past, The Queen will meet veterans and make a speech. The Duke of Gloucester will also be present at this event.

The Princess Royal
The Princess Royal will carry out commemorative engagements in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

In the morning Her Royal Highness will attend a D-D Church Parade at St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral, Regina, during which Her Highness will read the Epistle.

Afterwards The Princess Royal will attend a reception at St. Paul's Cathedral Hall, where Her Royal Highness will unveil a D-Day anniversary postage stamp, coin and poster for Veterans' Affairs Canada. Her Royal Highness is Colonel-in-Chief of a number of Canadian regiments.

The Duke of Kent
The Duke of Kent, President of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Colonel-in-Chief of the Devonshire & Dorsetshire Regiment, will attend commemoration events in the town of Asnelles with the Devonshire & Dorsetshire Regiment and the Royal Marines.

The event will begin on the beachfront of Asnelles, which was the point where the first troops landed on the Normandy Coast on 6th June 1944, where His Royal Highness will meet veterans and visit a Royal Marine Landing Craft on the Beach. He will later lay a wreath at a memorial in Asnelles Town before taking the salute at a March-Past of Veterans.

Members of the Royal Family will also be attending other commemorative events before and after the commemorative weekend. These include:

The Earl of Wessex
On Sunday, 11th July, The Earl of Wessex, Colonel of The Royal Wessex Yeomanry, and representing The Princess Alexandra, Colonel-in-Chief of The Somerset Light Infantry, will attend commemoration events on Hill 112 near Caen, France, with veterans of The 43rd Wessex Division and The Somerset Light Infantry.