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Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh share 25th wedding anniversary portrait | UK News

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh have released a new portrait to mark their 25th wedding anniversary.

The royal couple are dressed down in the relaxed shot taken in the gardens of their Surrey home, Bagshot Park, by photographer Chris Jelf.

Prince Edward, 60, is the youngest of the late Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip’s four children – and the only one who has not been divorced.

He married Sophie Rhys-Jones on 19 June 1999 in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle – where other royals including Prince Harry, Princess Eugenie and Peter Philips have wed their partners.

 File photo dated 19/06/99 of Prince Edward, the youngest son of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, and his bride Sophie Rhys-Jones leave St. Georges's Chapel in Windsor Castle following their marriage. Issue date: Tuesday June 18, 2024.
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Edward and Sophie on their wedding day in 1999. Pic: John Stillwell/PA

They now have two children, 20-year-old Lady Louise Windsor and James, who at 16 is the Earl of Wessex.

Edward and Sophie became the Earl and Countess of Wessex when they married. They were named the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh last year when the King redistributed key titles.

In March, Sophie described Edward as the “best of fathers, the most loving of husbands” and “still my best friend” in a surprise tribute ahead of his 60th birthday.

The Duchess of Cornwall, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Countess of Wessex on the balcony at the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph, in Whitehall, London. Picture date: Sunday November 14, 2021.
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The Queen, the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Edinburgh in 2021. Pic: Aaron Chown/PA

“Whatever he is doing he gives 150% of himself and if all else fails, he gives any energy he has left out to our exhausted dogs or laying waste to the garden,” she said.

Edward has also publicly praised his wife and described her as his “rock” in a television interview.

Read more:
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“I’m incredibly lucky that I found Sophie and that she found me,” he added.

Edward’s older siblings, King Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew, have all been divorced.

D-Day: King praises veterans as world leaders meet WW2 survivors at Normandy anniversary events | UK News

The world has marked 80 years since D-Day with the King and Joe Biden among leaders who travelled to Normandy to join veterans in commemorating the solemn anniversary.

The King addressed an emotional crowd at the British national commemorative event on Thursday morning in Ver-sur-Mer, France, where he shared his “profound sense of gratitude” to those who served in the Second World War.

Veterans could be seen wiping their eyes with tissues as the King paid tribute to the “remarkable wartime generation” at a memorial containing the names of the 22,442 servicemen and women under British command who died on D-Day.

“How fortunate we were, and the entire free world, that a generation of men and women in the United Kingdom and other Allied nations did not flinch when the moment came to face that test,” he said.

Follow live: Normandy commemorations mark 80 years since D-Day

Charles III greets meets D-Day veteran Albert Keir, 98, during a commemorative ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of the World War II D-Day Pic: AP
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Charles greets D-Day veteran Albert Keir, 98. Pic: AP

“On the beaches of Normandy, on the seas beyond and in the skies overhead, our armed forces carried out their duty with a humbling sense of resolve and determination, qualities so characteristic of that remarkable wartime generation.

“Very many of them never came home, they lost their lives on the D-Day landing grounds or in the many battles that followed.”

After his speech, the King – who was wearing his Field Marshal No 4 Tropical Service dress uniform, with medals and decorations – saluted during the Last Post and the silence that followed.

Charles lays a wreath during a commemorative ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of the World War II D-Day Pic: AP
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Pic: AP

British veterans also spoke at the memorial event including one who said he “became tearful” while paying tribute to a friend who saved his life.

Read more:
WW2 veteran dies on way to Normandy
D-Day veterans share their stories

Queen Camilla speaks with veteran Arthur Oborne during a lunch following the UK national commemorative event for the 80th anniversary of D-Day, held at the British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, Thursday June 6, 2024.  Pic: AP
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Camilla speaks with Arthur Oborne at a lunch following the UK national commemorative event. Pic: AP

Arthur Oborne, 100, recalled being shot in the lung three days after arriving on Gold Beach. He was saved by Walter Gummerson, who was killed the next day alongside the rest of his unit.

“I wish I could tell him that I have never taken his sacrifice for granted and will always remember him and our friends,” Mr Oborne told the crowd. “So Gummy, thank you my old friend.”

Joe Biden takes swipe at Putin

Later, Mr Biden addressed a crowd at the US national commemoration, telling stories of some of the veterans in the audience before reflecting on current events – including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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‘We won’t surrender to bullies and dictators’

“Isolationism was not the answer 80 years ago, and it is not the answer today,” he said. “We know the dark forces that these heroes fought against 80 years ago, they never fade.

“The struggle between dictatorship and freedom is unending. Here in Europe we see one stark example. Ukraine has been invaded by a tyrant bent on domination.”

Prince William gave a speech of his own on Juno Beach, where Canadian troops were being honoured.

Prime Minister of France Gabriel Attal, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Prince of Wales. Pic: Jordan Pettitt, Pool Photo via AP
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France’s Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Prince William Pic: AP

Prince William speaks to Canadian veterans. Pic: AP
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Prince William speaks to Canadian veterans. Pic: AP

He was joined by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and praised the “bravery and sacrifice” of the Canadians who “stormed these very sand dunes behind me, shoulder to shoulder with thousands of British troops”.

“Standing here today in peaceful silence, it is almost impossible to grasp the courage it would have taken to run into the fury of battle that day,” he said.

France’s highest honour given to British veteran

Christian Lamb is awarded awarded the French Legion of Honour by French President Emmanuel Macron. Pic: PA Wire
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Christian Lamb is awarded the French Legion of Honour by French President Emmanuel Macron. Pic: PA Wire

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke at both the US and British commemorative events and awarded the National Order of the Legion of Honour – the highest honour that can be awarded in France – to veterans including a British Wren.

Christian Lamb, 103, worked as a clerk in the Royal Navy before becoming a plotting officer, responsible for locating ships.

She was one of the people tasked with the logistical planning of D-Day.

France's President Emmanuel Macron reacts after awarding 104-years-old British World War II veteran, Christian Lamb, who helped to plan the D-Day landings in Normandy, with the insignia of Knight in the Legion of Honour order. Pic: Reuters
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Pic: Reuters

“You have set us an example that we will not forget,” Mr Macron told her.

This afternoon, an international commemoration on Omaha Beach in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer united the heads of state and prominent politicians, who gave the veterans a standing ovation.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and first lady Olena Zelenska were among those present and received a huge round of applause when they arrived.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife Olena Zelenska, arrive at the international ceremony at Omaha Beach, Thursday, June 6, 2024 in Normandy. Pic: AP
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Olena Zelenska and Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Pic: AP

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh during the Royal British Legion's service of remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire, on the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Pic: PA
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The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh at the Royal British Legion’s service of remembrance in Staffordshire. Pic: PA

Across the UK, numerous other D-Day commemorations have also taken place.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh attended the Royal British Legion’s remembrance service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

An 80-strong flotilla of boats is scheduled to leave Falmouth, Cornwall, where thousands of troops departed to take part in the invasion.

UK defence chief doubts Russia wants war with NATO as he marks D-Day anniversary | UK News

Russia’s Vladimir Putin does not want a direct war with NATO and he does not want a nuclear war, the head of the UK armed forces has said.

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin also signaled that Moscow and Beijing lack the military proficiency” to defeat the kind of barrage of drones and missiles that the United States and its allies destroyed in April when Iran attempted to attack Israel.

In an interview to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings of the Second World War, the Chief of the Defence Staff sought to strike a reassuring tone that a third global conflict was not imminent, despite things becoming what he described as “a bit more dangerous”.

But Admiral Radakin said he believed the British public would again rise to the challenge should there ever be another existential threat like the one once posed by Nazi Germany.

“Absolutely! I think our nation has got that pride, it has got that commitment,” he said.

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The admiral – who was unable to answer specific questions on UK defence issues because of the general election campaign – was speaking in front of the original map that was used to help plan “Operation Overlord”, the codename for the allied invasion of occupied France.

It covers the entire wall of a room at Southwick House, near Portsmouth, where US General Dwight Eisenhower, along with Britain’s General Bernard Montgomery and Admiral Bertram Ramsay, agreed on the ultimate timing for D-Day on 6 June 1944 – after a 24-hour delay because of bad weather.

General Eisenhower “got to the point, apparently with the rain lashing against the windows here, and he said: ‘Ok let’s go’,” Admiral Radakin said.

In what remains the biggest ever seaborn attack, some 150,000 soldiers landed on the Normandy beaches on the first day, backed by 7,000 ships and more than 2,000 aircraft.

“What we can learn from it is that when nations come together, you can do amazing things,” the UK defence chief said.

President Biden has recently permitted Ukraine’s armed forces to use US-supplied weapons on targets inside Russia that are near the Kharkiv region.
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President Biden has recently permitted Ukraine’s armed forces to use US-supplied weapons on targets inside Russia. Pic: AP

While not at the same level, he drew similarities between allied action against the Nazis and how western nations are rallying to help Ukraine fight Russia‘s invasion today.

It’s a war of economies. It’s a war of logistics. It’s a war of industrial production. it’s a war of, political will,” he said.

“It is all of those things for the simplicity of bringing peace back to the people of Ukraine.”

Admiral Radakin, who is known for having an optimistic outlook, insisted that Russia is “failing” in Ukraine even as Russian forces have launched a new invasion into the northeast region of Kharkiv, where they have recaptured territory as Ukrainian troops suffer from a shortage in ammunition and manpower.

“Russia is making tactical advances on land,” the head of the UK military said.

“But you’ve got to then step back a little. If you go back to March 2022, Russia had taken about 17% of Ukraine’s territory. Today it’s got 11%. So Russia is still in deficit.”

Asked whether he was confident that Ukraine would prevail, Admiral Radakin said: “I’m, hugely confident…

“By the end of June, Russia will have lost 500,000 people – killed and wounded. We are already past 800 days for a war that Putin anticipated to be three days long. This is tough for Ukraine, but we have to maintain our support.”

Admiral Radakin was speaking before the US and other allies publicly backed Ukraine using western weapons to strike military targets inside Russia – a move that has escalated tensions even further between the West and Moscow.

However, he sounded very confident that the Kremlin was not looking for direct confrontation with members of the NATO alliance.

Pic: AP
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Pic: AP

“Putin does not want a war with NATO. Putin does not want a nuclear war. And we have enormous overmatch because of the strength of NATO.”

As for the potential for an imminent third world war, the military chief was also sanguine: “The world has got a bit more dangerous. But we should be reassured by all that we’ve got in place.”

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He spoke about a moment in April when the US, the UK and other allies mobilized in support of the Israeli military to avert a wider Middle East war after Iran decided to launch a major strike against Israel in retaliation for an Israeli attack against an Iranian facility in Syria.

Admiral Radakin said the Iranian regime launched more than 100 ballistic missiles, nearly 200 drones and tens of cruise missiles – which were defeated.

“If I look at that and I compare that to other big events militarily, then actually only the US, with its allies, I think have got that ability,” he said.

“I don’t think our potential adversaries would have been able to respond in the way that you saw on the evening of 13 April.”

Asked specifically if Moscow or Beijing could have done it, he said: “I think the US leadership and the proficiency that we have with our allies is at a level above our potential foes.”

England beat Scotland in anniversary match with Foden, Bellingham and Kane on scoresheet | UK News

England have beaten Scotland 3-1 on the 150th anniversary of the fixture between the two oldest international rivals in the game.

Goals from Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane gave the Three Lions the bragging rights at Glasgow’s Hampden Park.

Scotland netted through an own goal by Harry Maguire but were left disappointed in a game that was far from a friendly in nature.

Before kick-off, Scottish fans booed England as they sang God Save The King. The Tartan Army then bellowed their own anthem, Flower Of Scotland.

Both teams first met on the pitch in November 1872 at Hamilton Crescent in Glasgow to an audience of 4,000.

The match ended in an underwhelming 0-0 draw.

Ukrainians recite ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ lyrics in powerful film to mark first anniversary of war | World News

The lyrics of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” have been recited by Ukrainian people in a powerful film to mark the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion.

The one-minute video released by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) shows the devastation unleashed by Vladimir Putin’s war, with millions unable to return to their homeland after being forced to flee.

It begins with a black screen and the caption: “Ukraine. February. 2023.” A cast of actors still living in Ukraine then recite lines from the anthemic Gerry and the Pacemakers song, over music by German-born British composer and pianist Max Richter.

A young boy, seen sitting on a swing in front of a hollow tower block, delivers the iconic line: “And don’t be afraid of the dark, at the end of a storm.”

The footage, shot this month, also shows a boy in a bomb shelter, a doctor in a hospital, a couple and a dog owner outside their homes, and a woman and child sitting on a bus.

Entitled “Never Alone”, it was made by a predominantly Ukrainian crew and directed using a remote camera.

Although the people featured in the film are actors, they represent real stories of people who have been helped by DEC charities.

The video ends with a black screen saying: “The UK raised over £400 million so the people of Ukraine didn’t walk alone” and images of aid workers who travelled to the country to offer help.

The DEC’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal has raised £414m since launching on 3 March 2022, including £25m donated by the government through the UK Aid Match scheme.

A woman and girl seen in the film
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A woman and girl seen in the film

In the first six months of the response alone, aid delivered using DEC funds included (but was not limited to):

  • 1.9 million people provided with access to clean water
  • 392,000 people who received food assistance, including hot meals and food parcels
  • 338,000 people who received cash payments to meet their basic needs
  • 127,000 people who accessed basic services at transit centres for the displaced
  • 71,000 people who accessed primary healthcare services
  • 114,000 people who received legal help and support
  • 10,000 people who were provided with temporary accommodation

Read more:
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Putin will face trial for war crimes, US envoy says
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A couple sitting outside what remains of their home
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A couple sitting outside what remains of their home
A dog owner standing outside his proprty
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A dog owner standing outside his property

Film director Rick Dodds said: “This film is a time capsule of Ukraine in February 2023 – exactly one year since the conflict began.

“We cast Ukrainian people still living there – so that we could capture their resilience, their strength, and their Ukrainian stoicism for all to see.

“The poetic words of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ then took on a different power when delivered by this cast in such dramatic and real locations.

“For example, a woman stood outside her house that has been blown apart saying ‘though your dreams be tossed and blown’. Or a young boy in a bomb shelter saying ‘with hope in your heart’.”

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DEC director of fundraising and marketing, Simon Beresford, hailed the “incredible generosity” of the British public.

“We’re really proud of the fact that we could work with a Ukrainian cast and crew to make this film,” he said.

“Choosing to shoot it in Ukraine added layers of complication to the project, but we think has made it much more authentic and impactful.

“Everyone who worked on the film in Ukraine has been affected in some way by the conflict and their creative input has been invaluable to the project.”

Sunak to urge world leaders to ‘move faster’ to arm Ukraine as he leads minute’s silence on war anniversary | Politics News

Rishi Sunak is to urge fellow world leaders to “move faster” to arm Ukraine’s troops as he leads a minute’s silence on the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion.

The prime minister is expected to use a G7 meeting on Friday to call on allies to supply longer-range weapons to Ukraine as there is an urgent need for Kyiv to gain a “decisive advantage” on the battlefield.

Mr Sunak will lead the UK in a minute’s silence at 11am to mark the anniversary in front of the Downing Street door.

He will be joined by the Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko, members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and representatives from each of the 11 nations that are part of the British-led Ukrainian troop training programme, Operation Interflex.

UN demands Russia withdraw troops – Ukraine war latest

“For Ukraine to win this war – and to accelerate that day – they must gain a decisive advantage on the battlefield. That is what it will take to shift Putin’s mindset,” Mr Sunak is expected to tell G7 leaders in a virtual meeting.

“This must be our priority now. Instead of an incremental approach, we need to move faster on artillery, armour, and air defence.

“The coming weeks will be difficult for Ukraine, but they will also be difficult for Russia. They are overreaching once again. So now is the time to support Ukraine’s plan to re-arm, regroup, and push forward.”

Mr Sunak will also reiterate his offer of UK support to countries able to provide jets to Ukraine as he and his wife, Akshata Murty, hang a blue and yellow wreath on the door of Number 10.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on Western countries to send fighter jets to Ukraine and while the UK has announced training for Ukrainian pilots on NATO-standard jets it has not sent any planes.

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Johnson: ‘Send jets to Ukraine’

Former PM Boris Johnson has joined those calls and told Sky News on Thursday the UK needs to “break the ice” by becoming the first country to supply Ukraine with the aircraft.

But so far, neither Mr Sunak or his defence secretary Ben Wallace have not made a steadfast commitment to do so.

Sky News exclusively reported on Thursday the Treasury has signalled there is no new money for defence, despite recognising the urgent need to rearm in the wake of the war.

As things stand, the British army would run out of ammunition within a few days if called upon to fight and would take up to 10 years to field a modern warfighting division of some 25,000 to 30,000 troops.

Read more:
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Ukraine war: The race to rearm could decide who wins the conflict
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A look back on a year of war in Ukraine

On the eve of the anniversary, Mr Sunak said: “As we mark one year since a full-scale war broke out on our continent, I urge everyone to reflect on the courage and bravery of our Ukrainian friends who, every hour since, have fought heroically for their country.

“I am proud that the UK has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Ukraine through this horrific conflict.

“As I stand with brave Ukrainian soldiers outside Downing Street today, my thoughts will be with all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend freedom and return peace to Europe.”

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who met Mr Zelenskyy in Kyiv recently, said the UK’s support “is as firm and unstinting today as it was on that dark day one year ago”.

He said his party stands “in lockstep with the government” in continuing support to Ukraine “regardless of what other political disagreements we may have”.