The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge began a series of commemorative events marking the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. William and Catherine traveled to Belgium on behalf of the Queen as part of the World War I centenary commemorations.
The Duke and Duchess were greeted by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium. Catherine, dressed in a cream Alexander McQueen coat and Jane Taylor hat, performed a picture-perfect deep curtsy. In royal tradition, William and Catherine will bow and curtsy to foreign sovereigns – even if they aren’t in England!
The King and Queen with the Duke and Duchess attended a service outside the Abbaye Saint-Laurent in Liege to pay their respects to the first fallen soldiers of the war. Also in attendance were international dignitaries such as French President Francois Hollande, German President Joachim Gauck and Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo.
The Duke of Cambridge gave a moving speech at the event. He remarks, “Belgium’s steadfast remembrance of your war dead, and ours, is a great credit to your nation. On behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, head of the Commonwealth, thank you for the honour you do us all. In Europe, the transition from war to lasting peace has taken time. Edith Cavell was a British nurse who saved soldiers from each side. On the night before she faced a German firing squad, she said: “I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.””
Later, William and Catherine will attend an evening reception to continue to commemorations. We will leave you with this poignant statement from Prince William’s speech:
“We were enemies more than once in the last century, and today we are friends and allies. We salute those who died to give us our freedom. We will remember them.”
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