Members of the Royal Family attend Commemorations for the 100th Anniversary of Passchendaele – The Third Battle of Ypres
Sunday 30th July – Monday 31st July 2017
On behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales will attend commemorations marking the centenary of the first day of Passchendaele – The Third Battle of Ypres. His Royal Highness will be accompanied by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
On Sunday 30th July, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will join The King and Queen of the Belgians to attend the Last Post ceremony at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. Two hundred descendants whose ancestors are named on the Gate will attend alongside representatives from nations who fought on the Salient.
Later that evening, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will join The King and Queen of the Belgians in Market Square Ypres, for an event that will tell the story of the four years of war on the Salient with performances and music set to a backdrop of light projections onto the historic Cloth Hall.
On Monday 31st July, The Prince of Wales will be accompanied by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for the commemorations at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Tyne Cot cemetery to mark the centenary of the first day of Passchendaele – The Third Battle of Ypres. The King and Queen of the Belgians will be in attendance.
The Prince of Wales and The King and Queen of the Belgians, will then officially open the Zonnebeke Church Dugout, a preserved First World War dugout which forms part of the Memorial Museum Passchendaele.
Following the opening of the Dugout, The Prince of Wales and The King and Queen of the Belgians will open the nearby British Memorial Poppy Garden in Passchendaele Memorial Park. His Royal Highness and Their Majesties will be able to meet some of the designers and gardeners who look after the memorial gardens.
The Prince of Wales and The King and Queen of the Belgians will then join hundreds of guests at the Exhibition Field at The Passchendaele Memorial Park to meet families and descendants of those who fought and fell at Passchendaele, The Third Battle of Ypres as well as school children learning about the history of the battle.
His Royal Highness will then attend the Welsh National Service of Remembrance at the Welsh National Memorial Park to mark the centenary of Passchendaele and the Welsh soldiers who lost their lives in the battle.
Following the service, The Prince of Wales will visit Artillery Wood Cemetery. His Royal Highness will tour the cemetery, which includes the graves of poets Hedd Wyn and Francis Ledwidge, both killed during the Battle of Passchendaele.
The Third Battle of Ypres, known as Passchendaele, began in the early hours of 31 July 1917. Its primary objective was to dislodge German forces from the high ground around the city of Ypres (now Ieper) and then advance to Belgian coastal ports from where German U-boats threatened Allied shipping. Men from virtually every corner of Britain’s then Empire took part. They faced well-established enemy defences and heavy rain that turned the battlefields into a muddy quagmire. The conditions at Passchendaele are among the most enduring images of the First World War. The offensive ended after the capture of Passchendaele village by Canadian forces on 10 November. By the battle’s end, the Allied forces had advanced a mere 8 kilometres. The human cost was appalling – an estimated 500,000 men on both sides had been killed, wounded, were captured or missing.