The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have arrived at a Holocaust memorial service in Westminster to pay their respects to those who were killed by the Nazis during the Second World War.
Today is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Polish concentration camp Auschwitz by Soviet soldiers. Around one million people were sent to their deaths there by Hitler and his henchmen in an act of mass genocide. Millions of others were killed in a network of other camps across Nazi-held land.
Prince William will read a letter from a friend of his great-grandmother Princess Alice, the Duke of Edinburgh's late mother, at the ceremony. She is famed for saving a Jewish family from being sent to a concentration camp during the Holocaust.
The Cambridges will also meet other Holocaust survivors and light candles for those killed in acts of genocide.
Kate arrived for the ceremony wearing a grey coat dress by Catherine Walker. She was shielded from the London rain by William holding an umbrella.
Earlier, photos of Holocaust survivors Steven Frank and Yvonne Bernstein taken by the Duchess were released to mark the occasion. Kensington Palace also shared behind-the-scenes pictures of avid photographer Kate meeting the pair before the photo shoot.
As part of the commemorations for the 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust, The Duchess of Cambridge has taken photographs of two Holocaust survivors with their grandchildren. The first photograph features Steven Frank with his granddaughters, Maggie and Trixie. Alongside his mother and brothers, Steven was sent to Westerbork transit camp then to Theresienstadt. Steven and his brothers were 3 of only 93 children who survived the camp - 15,000 children were sent there. The Duchess also photographed Yvonne Bernstein with her granddaughter Chloe. Yvonne was a hidden child in France, travelling in the care of her aunt and uncle and frequently changing homes and names. The Duchess said: “I wanted to make the portraits deeply personal to Yvonne and Steven – a celebration of family and the life that they have built since they both arrived in Britain in the 1940s. The families brought items of personal significance with them which are included in the photographs. It was a true honour to have been asked to participate in this project and I hope in some way Yvonne and Steven’s memories will be kept alive as they pass the baton to the next generation.” The portraits will form part of a new exhibition opening later this year by @holocaustmemorialdaytrust, Jewish News and @royalphotographicsociety , which will feature 75 images of survivors and their family members. The exhibition will honour the victims of the Holocaust and celebrate the full lives that survivors have built in the UK, whilst inspiring people to consider their own responsibility to remember and share the stories of those who endured Nazi persecution. Portraits ©The Duchess of Cambridge
A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on Jan 26, 2020 at 2:05pm PST
The Duchess of Cambridge said: 'The harrowing atrocities of the Holocaust, which were caused by the most unthinkable evil, will forever lay heavy in our hearts. Yet it is so often through the most unimaginable adversity that the most remarkable people flourish.
'Despite unbelievable trauma at the start of their lives, Yvonne Bernstein and Steven Frank are two of the most life-affirming people that I have had the privilege to meet. They look back on their experiences with sadness but also with gratitude that they were some of the lucky few to make it through. Their stories will stay with me forever.'
Today is #HolocaustMemorialDay, which takes place each year on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and honours survivors of the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution, and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. Earlier this month, The Duchess of Cambridge met two Holocaust survivors, Steven Frank and Yvonne Bernstein, as she took photographs for a project by @holocaustmemorialdaytrust, Jewish News and @royalphotographicsociety to mark 75 years since the end of the Holocaust. The Duchess’s photographs will be included in an exhibition of 75 images of survivors and their family members, which will open later this year. “The harrowing atrocities of the Holocaust, which were caused by the most unthinkable evil, will forever lay heavy in our hearts. Yet it is so often through the most unimaginable adversity that the most remarkable people flourish. Despite unbelievable trauma at the start of their lives, Yvonne Bernstein and Steven Frank are two of the most life-affirming people that I have had the privilege to meet. They look back on their experiences with sadness but also with gratitude that they were some of the lucky few to make it through. Their stories will stay with me forever.” – The Duchess of Cambridge Photographs © Kensington Palace
A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on Jan 27, 2020 at 2:07am PST
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