The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined Prince Charles to pay a solemn visit to Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Ypres as they commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele – where hundreds of thousands of allied soldiers fell.
Tyne Cot is the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in terms of burials. There are 11,961 soldiers of World War 1 buried here, of which 8,373 are “unknown”.
They were joined by King Philippe of Belgium, Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Sir Timothy Laurence and Theresa May at the Cemetery.
The Cross of Sacrifice that marks many CWGC cemeteries were built on top of a German pillbox in the centre of the cemetery, purportedly at the suggestion of King George V, who visited the cemetery in 1922 as it neared completion.
Prince Charles today addressed the gathering at the cemetery. In his speech, Charles quoted his great-grandfather King George V and remarked, ” Drawn from many nations, we come together in their resting place… to promise that we will never forget.”
Catherine laid a posey as William read, “A Soldier of the Great War Known Unto God”.
Trumpeters from the Band of The Royal Marines play the Last Post and Reveille.
At the end of the ceremony, four Belgium Defence F16’s fly the Missing Man Formation flyover Tyne Cot Cemetery.
Earlier in the day William and Catherine visited Bedford House, the final resting place of more than 5,000 Servicemen of WWI.
There the royal couple met some Commonwealth War Graves Commission interns who help visitors understand the stories of servicemen in this cemetery, before viewing some of the graves.
Today Duchess chose a delicate dusty pink Venetian wool ‘Melrose’ coatdress from her go-to designer Catherine Walker.
The dress features hand applique taupe corded lace spreading up from the hem and cuff. A look at the detailing.
Catherine paired the outfit with a Jane Taylor creation.
Duchess paired her dress with a pink Prada Clutch. It seems today Duchess wore a new pair of Gianvito Rossi Suede Pumps. HeavenQRF on twitter believes they are the Suede Gianvito Heels. Heels are available at forwarding.
Kate wore Diana’s Collingwood pearl earrings that she wore on State Banquet earlier in July and the pearl brooch, borrowed from Her Majesty, that complimented the whole look.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge today attended the Last Post ceremony at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission – CWGC Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium. They are in Belgium along with Prince Charles of Wales to commemorate the Centenary of Passchendaele – The Third Battle of Ypres on 30 and 31 July.
Fought between 31 July and 10 November 1917, the Third Battle of Ypres, or Passchendaele as it has become known, was one of the bloodiest battles on the Western Front. By its end, an estimated 500,000 men on both sides had been killed, wounded, were captured or missing.
The Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing is a war memorial in Ypres, Belgium, dedicated to the British and Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in the Ypres Salient of World War I and whose graves are unknown, located at the eastern exit of the town was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield and built and maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the Menin Gate Memorial was unveiled on 24 July 1927.
TRHs are joined by over 200 descendants whose ancestors are named on the Gate and representatives from nations who fought on the Salient. pic.twitter.com/V0S7lVnhbj
Every night at 8.00pm (20:00 hours) a moving ceremony takes place under the Menin Gate in Ieper – Ypres. Tonight over 200 descendants whose ancestors are named on the Gate and representatives from nations who fought on the Salient joined British and Belgian royals.
The UK ambassador to Belgium, Alison Rose, accompanies Catherine and William as they walk to the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing.
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were joined by Belgian King Philippe and Queen Mathilde to Mark the Centenary of Passchendaele. More than 54000 Poppies drop from the roof of Menin Gate in honour of the fallen, one for every name on the Menin Gate.
Prince William addressed the guests, families and relatives of the soldiers who fought the historical battles. In his speech, Duke remarked,
Today, the Menin Gate records almost 54,000 names of the men who did not return home; the missing with no known grave. Members of our families; our regiments; our nations; all sacrificed everything for the lives we live today. During the First World War Britain and Belgium stood shoulder to shoulder. One hundred years on, we still stand together, gathering as so many do every night, in remembrance of that sacrifice.
A view of the Menin Gate where more than 54000 names of brave soldiers are engraved.
Prince William put a protective hand on his wife’s back while leaving the Menin Gate.
After the Last Post ceremony, The Duke, Duchess along with King Philippe and Queen Mathilde arrived for the second portion of the commemoration. Everyone walked to the Ypres market square for a dramatic presentation commemorating the Battle.
Cloth Hall, Ypres, is the backdrop for tonight’s moving tribute to those who served in Belgium in World War I.
William and Catherine at Cloth Hall.
A view of the stage where emotionally powerful and enticing performances were given by various artists. Highlights of the evening included performances by Dame Helen Mirren, the cast of The Wipers Times introduced by Ian Hislop, a tri-service orchestra and the voices of the National Youth Choir of Scotland.
The Duke and Duchess got the chance to meet some of the descendants of those who served on the Ypres Salient from 1914-1918.
For the event, It seems Duchess of Cambridge brought the bests of Trooping the Colour together. Catherine looked regal in the Alexander McQueen cream coatdress first worn for Princess Charlotte’s christening two years ago. The fit-and-flare design features wide-winged lapels and a fitted, tailored bodice.
Duchess also wore the same dress at Trooping the Colour in 2016.
Catherine paired her outfit with Lock and Co Hatters white Marisabel hat that we have seen during Trooping the Colour in 2015. The hat was designed by Sylvia Fletcher, the head designer of the label. The piece is crafted of sinamay, a straw frequently used for hats.
Her Balenciaga earrings, that were first noted at Trooping the Colour 2016, complemented the today’s look. Eugenia silver-tone, faux pearl and crystal ear cuffs crafted in Italy from silver-tone brass, showcase oversized faux pearls surrounded by glittering crystals.
The first stop on today’s itinerary is the Maritime Museum situated at the bank of the river Elbe. A private museum in the HafenCity quarter of Hamburg, Germany. The museum houses Peter Tamm’s collection of model ships, construction plans, uniforms, and maritime art, amounting to over 40,000 items and more than one million photographs. It opened in a former warehouse in 2008.
As expected a cheering crowd welcomed the royal couple outside the museum.
They also met scientists who are celebrating the UK-German year of science, which is focused on oceans.
Then Duke and Duchess make their way further through Hamburg’s dockside warehouse quarter to the Elbphilharmonie. Opened in January 2017, the “Elphi” was built with the aim of creating a new city landmark.
It is one of the biggest concert halls in the world and renowned for its advanced acoustics.
The Duke and Duchess joined the orchestra on stage, before listening to a special performance by the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra.
At the stage, Duchess told the team that she used to play the Flute during her school life. Duchess also tried her hand at conducting the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra team.
More than 300 pupils enjoyed the orchestra with Prince William as Duchess of Cambridge Catherine was conducting the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra team.
After enjoying their time at the Elphi, Duke and Duchess headed towards the last engagement of the Royal tour ‘the Airbus’. Before departing they met the exciting crowd waiting for them outside the Elphi.
They departed by boat and travelled down the River Elbe to their final destination.
Airbus is a division of the multinational Airbus SE that manufactures civil aircraft. It is based in Blagnac, France, a suburb of Toulouse with production and manufacturing facilities mainly in France, Germany, Spain, China, United Kingdom and the United States.
The couple toured the aircraft complex and met the German and English apprentices.
The couple visited the hall where A320 aircraft is assembled. The wings are made in the UK and are attached to the planes in Germany.
At the last stop of the tour, the Royal couple met the trainees, ask them about their occupation and got a chance to see modern aviation technology.
The Cambridge bid farewell to Germany at Airbus and headed to home.
Duchess finished her look with Kiki lavender Amethyst Pear and Oval Drop earrings that we first saw in 2016 during Bhutan arrival. The earrings feature large pear and oval-shaped lavender amethyst stones surrounded by dazzling diamonds and set in 18 carets white gold.
A glance at Duchess’s look for the last day in Germany.
This post wraps the royal tour of the Cambridge family to Poland and Germany.