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Queen to make state visit to France

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are to travel to Normandy to attend events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, Buckingham Palace has said.

The engagements will form part of a three-day state visit to France in June, being made by the Queen and Philip following an invitation by France's president Francois Hollande.

The monarch last made a state visit to France in April 2004.

Buckingham Palace said in a short statement: " The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, will make a state visit to France from 5-7 June. Her Majesty and His Royal Highness are visiting at the invitation of the President of France, President Hollande.

"On 6 June the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will attend events in Normandy to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings.

"On 6 and 7 June Her Majesty and His Royal Highness will attend state visit events in Paris and be received at the Elysee Palace by President Hollande."

The events marking the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings are likely to be the last significant commemorations attended by veterans in large numbers as many are now in their late 80s and 90s.

For the public, parades, parachute drops, military camps and open air concerts are some of the events planned to remember the bravery and sacrifice of the 156,000 Allied troops who fought their way on to the shores of Normandy on June 6, 1944.

The Prince of Wales attended the 65th anniversary of D-Day in 2009 following a last-minute turnaround. The change in royal plans came amid claims the monarch had been snubbed in not being invited to the anniversary.

Charles intervened after speaking to the Queen and suggesting he should represent her at the events marking the historic landings.

For her last state visit to France, almost 10 years ago, the Queen travelled by Eurostar with Philip to mark 100 years of the Entente Cordiale.


From Belfast Telegraph