Prince Charles pays tribute at Vimy Ridge centenary

ICONINSIDER — Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry have honoured fallen soldiers at the centenary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
The 68-year-old royal and his two sons travelled to the Canadian National Vimy Memorial near Lille in northern France on Sunday (09.04.17) to commemorate the 100th anniversary since capture of Vimy Ridge during the First World War.
The Battle of Vimy Ridge took place over four days in 1917, and resulted in around 3,500 Canadian soldiers losing their lives, whilst another 10,000 were left wounded. The battle is regarded as Canada’s most notable military victory and a symbol of the birth of the country’s national pride.
Prince Charles told around 25,000 Canadians who had gathered at the ceremony that although the battle marked the “bloodiest day” in Canadian history, it also showcased the country “at it’s best”.
He said in his speech: “Today it is hard to believe possible the horrors that unfolded here on April 9, 1917. This was a battlefield of corpses. The terrifying roar of massed artillery filled the air.
“As one Canadian Brigade signalling officer wrote: ‘Imagine the loudest clap of thunder you ever heard, multiplied by two, and prolonged indefinitely.’ Boot-deep mud rendered each step a struggle, amidst a deadly, relentless hail of bullets.
“This was, and remains, the single bloodiest day in Canadian military history. They did not waver. This was Canada at its best.”
Prince Charles – along with William, 34, and 32-year-old Harry – was joined at the ceremony by French president Francois Hollande and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau.
The three royals made the visit to the site on behalf of Charles’ mother – who is William and Harry’s grandmother – Queen Elizabeth, who is also the Queen of Canada.
She last visited the site in 2007 for the 90th anniversary of the battle, where she praised the “courage and achievement” of the Canadian soldiers for their “stunning victory” over German forces.

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