As the 70th anniversary of D-Day nears, Princess Anne is due in Portsmouth for the commemorations there. Numerous surviving soldiers as well as other current military men will be present alongside her. Portsmouth will be the scene of many commemorations leading up to the actual date, but the appearance of Princess Anne is already highly anticipated as one of the high points of the anniversary for one of the most significant moments in all of WWII.
Many of the British soldiers who fought for the Allies to take part in D-Day originated from Portsmouth. This is one of the reasons for Portsmouth taking such a large part in this year’s anniversary ceremonies, though Princess Anne will of course be honoring all who took part in the Normandy invasion, no matter where they left from to get there.
One WWII vet who was only 18 years of age during the Normandy invasion is particularly excited for the memorial ceremonies being conducted over the next few weeks. He recalls the tragedies and horrors of D-Day, and is joyed to see the liberation Europe fought for during the war being honored. Princess Anne is just icing on the cake for the vet, who is above all proud to see his nation as a whole coming together in celebration of freedom, the Portsmouth News reports.
Other ceremonies include a performance by the incredibly renowned air team, the Red Arrows, as well as a parade by the sea and a parade of ships due for the port. There will also be concerts with music from the WWII era, memorials for the fallen soldiers in the conflict, meetings with veterans, and films dedicated to the D-Day anniversary. Princess Anne will be there for the drumhead ceremony the day before the anniversary to open the weekend’s festivities and honor the dead.
Princess Anne and her presence are certainly looked forward to, but that does not take precedence over the solemnity of the event itself. In essence, it is those who served during the war who are truly there to be honored. In this spirit, the City Council of Portsmouth is endeavoring to contact all surviving veterans of the D-Day invasion with whom they are able to make contact. Not only do they want to increase the number present for the anniversary, but they also want civilians who are still being educated on the war. Princess Anne is but one part of an incredibly large celebration for one of the most important bits of war history ever.