The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are currently in Belgium to mark the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele, an experience which has proven itself extremely moving. Prince William later opened up about his emotional reaction to the Last Post ceremony on Sunday, July 30 at the Menin Gate.
At the ceremony — which has taken place every night since 1928 — the royals were joined by 200 descendants whose ancestors are named on the towering edifice, as well as representatives from nations who fought on the Salient.
“It was phenomenal — a proper teary moment for me,” the Duke of Cambridge, 35, told Commonwealth War Graves Commission interns on Monday, July 31. “At the end, it was so amazing. It was very, very moving.” The father-of-two made the comments on Monday ahead of a solemn visit to Tyne Cot cemetery, near Ypres — the largest Commonwealth burial ground in the world.
William’s father, Prince Charles — who is also on the brief two-day tour at the request of Queen Elizabeth — spoke of the “courage and bravery” of British soldiers killed as he led the commemorations. In his address to the gathering, which included some 4,000 descendants of those who fought, Charles said: “We remember it not only for the rain that fell, the mud that weighed down the living and swallowed the dead but also for the courage and bravery of the men who fought here.”
“In 1920, the war reporter Philip Gibbs — who had himself witnessed Third Ypres — wrote that ‘nothing that has been written is more than the pale image of the abomination of those battlefields, and that no pen or brush has yet achieved the picture of that Armageddon in which so many of our men perished.’ Drawn from many nations, we come together in their resting place cared for with such dedication by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, to commemorate their sacrifice and to promise that we will never forget,” he concluded.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Kate Middleton, dressed in a demure dove-colored coat dress and coordinating topper, then joined Belgian Queen Mathilde and German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel in laying flowers at the graves of four German soldiers buried at the monumental site.
It’s certainly a busy time of year for William and Kate, who recently returned from their royal tour of Poland and Germany. The parents were dressed in sync with their royal cuties Prince George and Princess Charlotte, as they made their way back home. Charlotte wore a pretty pink floral dress, which fans may remember as her 2017 Trooping the Color outfit. She paired it with red leather shoes. Meanwhile, George — who turned four last week — was dressed in a long-sleeved checked shirt and navy blue shorts. He looked ecstatic as he boarded a helicopter, touring the facilities with his parents ahead of their departure.
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This post was written by Candice Mehta-Culjak. It originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.