Prince Charles, Camilla lead official U.K. tributes to mark 75th Anniversary of the End of WWII

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall receive French President Emmanuel Macron during a ceremony at Carlton Gardens on June 18, 2020 in London, England. L'Appel du 18 Juin (The Appeal of 18 June) was the speech made by Charles de Gaulle to the French in 1940 and broadcast in London by the BBC. It called for the Free French Forces to fight against German occupation. The appeal is often considered to be the origin of the French Resistance in World War II. President Macron is the first foreign dignitary to visit the UK since the coronavirus lockdown began. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Prince Charles was joined by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall to honor the sacrifices of veterans on the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Charles, 71, and Camilla, 73, led the British tributes to those who served in the Asia-Pacific region by taking part in a two-minute silence at a service held at the National Arboretum.

The 75th anniversary of VJ Day takes place on Aug. 15 – the day of the Japanese surrender which also marks the end of World War II. Earlier this year, in May, the end of the war in Europe was commemorated.

For Charles, VJ Day is especially poignant as his father Prince Philip, 99, and beloved mentor and great uncle, Lord Mountbatten, both served in the region during the war. Naval officer Philip was on board the ship HMS Whelp in Tokyo Bay at the time of the signing of the Japanese surrender.

As well as joining the small number of veterans, including 93-year-old Albert Wills, who served in the Royal Navy aboard HMS Indefatigable, Charles made a speech praising their heroism and sacrifice.

Charles and Camilla’s appearance at the service at the National Arboretum in Staffordshire, England, at 11 a.m. marked as the symbolic start of the commemorations.

Later, a recording of Prince William giving thanks to those who served was included in a re-telling of the story of the victory on the BBC.

And Prince Philip was featured in a photo montage of the surviving World War II veterans which were shown on big screens at the Arboretum and on special locations around the U.K. on Saturday.

In the skies above the country, the spectacular Red Arrows conducted a U.K.-wide flypast tribute over the cities of Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and London. It was the first time the squadron had done such a large flyover since the 2012 Olympics in London.


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