Thiepval Memorial on the Somme (Photo: Centenary News)

British royal family to attend Somme Centenary events in UK, France & Canada

Posted on on 17 February 2016
Share |

First details of the Battle of the Somme Centenary commemorations to be attended by Queen Elizabeth and senior members of the British royal family have been announced by Buckingham Palace.

The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, will take part in an evening vigil at Westminster Abbey on June 30th 2016.

The service takes place on the eve of commemorations in the UK and France remembering the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

British forces suffered their worst losses in a single day as they attacked on July 1st 1916; more than 19,000 soldiers were killed, and over 38,000 wounded or missing.

100 years later, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry, will attend centenary events in France on July 1st.

Queen Elizabeth's cousin, the Duke of Gloucester, will also be visiting France.

Full details have yet to be announced. But the Thiepval Memorial, commemorating more than 72,000 missing British & Commonwealth troops, will be the setting for the main Anglo-French remembrance service.

Manchester & Canada

The Duke of York will represent the royal family at Britain's national commemorative service in Manchester Cathedral on July 1st.

A 'people’s procession' to the city's Heaton Park follows this ceremony.

The Princess Royal will be in Canada for events remembering the Somme from June 29th to July 1st.

In all, the Battle of the Somme cost more than a million British, Commonwealth, French and German casualties (soldiers killed, wounded or missing).

More details of the Battle of the Somme First World War Centenary commemorations can be found here in Centenary News. Eight thousand tickets for the Thiepval service on July 1st have already been allocated to the public in an online ballot. There'll be daily ceremonies at Thiepval from July 2nd-November 18th marking the 141 days of the battle.

Sources: Buckingham Palace, UK Government

Images: Centenary News

Posted by: CN Editorial Team