Prince Charles and Camilla at D-Day commemorations in Normandy

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Prince Charles and Camilla at D-Day commemorations in Normandy

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The first commemorations to mark D-Day have taken place in Normandy on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of occupied France.

Prince Charles and Camilla crossed Pegasus Bridge, one of the first points that British troops captured within minutes of landing on the beaches just after midnight on 6 June 1944. Charles also laid a wreath at the Glider 3 memorial on the bridge.

Hundreds of the last surviving British veterans were there to remember the day 70 years ago that brought about the eventual liberation of Europe and the end of the Second World War.

Between 2,500 and 4,000 Allied troops are thought to have died.

Roy Catman, who was a commando serving in No 3 commando unit, said although the landings were frightening he had seen tougher fighting elsewhere during the war: “we had worse out in the Middle East than that. But it was still very frightening. There were mortars and shelling and spandaus firing from the sand dunes at the back of the beach. But we fought our way through it.”

On the other side of the Channel, British Royal Marines recreated the landings in Portsmouth on Thursday.

On Friday, there will be a memorial service at Bayeux Cathedral and the town’s Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery.

International leaders will attend an event on Sword Beach.

Map of D-Day beaches

See these pictures on a map

70ème Anniversaire du Débarquement Allié