Prince Charles Gives 'Wholehearted Support' To D-Day Normandy Memorial Project
Construction will begin in June, with the aim of completion within a year.
Prince Charles announced his support in a video message played at the campaign launch at the National Army Museum on Thursday evening (Picture: Normandy Memorial Trust).
The Prince of Wales has thrown his "wholehearted support" behind a charity which will build a D-Day memorial in France.
Prince Charles will become Royal Patron of the Normandy Memorial Trust, which has been planning a fitting tribute in memory of more than 20,000 members of the British Armed Forces who died there in the summer of 1944.
The British Government has provided a £20 million grant, and the trust is hoping to raise a further £9 million through its '22,442 Sacrifice For Freedom' campaign.
It is a project the Prince of Wales said he was "delighted" to support, adding he had "long been concerned that the memory of these remarkable individuals should be preserved for generations to come as an example of personal courage and sacrifice, for the benefit of the wider national, and, indeed, international, community."
In a video message played at the campaign launch at the National Army Museum on Thursday evening, he said: "I was therefore delighted to learn of the plans by the Normandy Memorial Trust to create what I believe is a long overdue British memorial in northern France to the 22,500 service personnel under British command who gave their lives in Normandy in the summer of 1944."
"I take great pride in offering my wholehearted support to the memorial and I hope that others who cherish the memory of those gallant men and women, and who value the freedoms for which so many of them gave their lives, may also wish to offer the project their support."
The first foundation stone will be laid in a ceremony on 6 June, the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings, when more than 150,000 British, American and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along the heavily fortified French coast.
Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron have both committed to attending the ceremony, the trust said.
Construction will begin later in June, with aims of completion within a year.
It will be built on a hillside overlooking Gold Beach, one of the landing sites for British troops and will include a roll of honour of the names of 22,442 members of the British Armed forces who died in the D-Day landings and the battle of Normandy.