Queen Elizabeth References Her Father’s D-Day Broadcast in a Moving Speech

Elias Hubbard
June 6, 2019

The video was taken while the queen was welcoming world leaders to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day ahead of the National Commemorative Event.

Mixed ranks from the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force stood among the crowd as United States president Donald Trump, prime minister Theresa May, French president Emmanuel Macron, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and German chancellor Angela Merkel all watched from the Royal box while the D-Day platoon sergeant addressed the crowd.

Thousands of members of the public attended the Portsmouth Naval Museum to watch the hour-long service.

The Queen has paid tribute to the "heroism, courage and sacrifice" of those who died in the D-Day landings.

Soldiers stay stand for the event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, in Portsmouth, Britain, June 5, 2019.

'But the wartime generation, my generation, is resilient and I'm delighted to be with you in Portsmouth today.

Queen Elizabeth II joined British Prime Minister Theresa May, other world leaders and the hundreds of veterans in Portsmouth on England's south coast to honor the Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen who risked and gave their lives in the invasion that helped liberate Europe from Nazi Germany.

She recalled her father, King George VI, saying before the invasion that "what is demanded from us all is something more than courage and endurance; we need a revival of spirit, a new unconquerable resolve".

"The fate of the world depended on their success", she said.

'It's with humility and pleasure on behalf of the entire country, indeed the whole free world, that I say to you all: thank you'.

Some 4,000 military personnel, 26 British military aircraft and 11 British naval vessels will participate, along with presidents and prime ministers from other European Union nations, Australia, New Zealand.

Also joining the ceremony were the prime ministers of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel; the Netherlands, Mark Rutte; Norway, Erna Solberg; and Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, and Slovakia's deputy prime minister Richard Rasi.

During the event, Mr Macron read a letter in French of Henri Fertet, who was executed aged 16.

"I am sure that anyone with imagination must dislike the though of what's coming", his letter said.

"We all had a part to play - I wasn't nervous - I was apprehensive like everybody else was", said Bert Edwards, recounting his role 75 years ago as an able seaman on the Royal Navy's HMS Bellona.

With some in the audience shedding tears and a few of the surviving veterans, now all in their 90s, sitting upright in the front rows, Trump read excerpts from the prayer President Franklin Roosevelt delivered by radio on D-Day.

Later in the day, D-Day veterans - now all older than 90 - will set sail from Portsmouth on a specially commissioned ship, MV Boudicca, and retrace their journey across the English Channel. "We have a border situation in the United States and you have one over here, but I hear it's going to work out very well".

Sergeant John Jenkins, 99, from Portsmouth, told those at the service of his experiences on D-Day. It was in his pocket when he landed in Normandy.

In a momentary slip Mr Jenkins told crowds he was '12 years old when I landed, ' prompting an affectionate laugh as he added: 'I put my age back a bit.' He was 23. 'We were all comrades together and that's what carries us through - the comradeship'.

"It's something that happens once in a lifetime - makes you proud a little bit for taking part", he said during the film. Then the infantry arrived on the beaches. The Battle of Normandy, codenamed Operation Overlord, was a turning point in the war, and helped bring about Nazi Germany's defeat in May 1945.

The ceremony is the first time that so many world leaders have gathered in Britain since the London 2012 Olympics.

Meanwhile, a 97-year-old U.S. veteran parachuted into Normandy - 75 years after he made the same journey on D-Day.

They took turns honouring those involved in the Allied cross-Channel invasion of the Normandy beaches, the largest amphibious assault in history, that left 4,400 Allied troops dead on the first day.

This was one of the first places British troops liberated on D-Day.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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