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King Charles gives first public speech since cancer diagnosis at D-Day event for veterans

King Charles gave his first public speech since his cancer diagnosis, speaking to an audience of WWII veterans in honor of the upcoming 80th anniversary of D-Day.

King Charles III delivered his first speech since his cancer diagnosis at an event commemorating those who served during World War II.

The monarch was in Portsmouth, England, accompanied by Queen Camilla and Prince William, to mark the upcoming 80th anniversary of the D-Day Landings.

In a video shared on the official royal website, he told the crowd of veterans and politicians, "The stories of courage, resilience and solidarity we have heard today and throughout our lives cannot fail to move us, to inspire us and to remind us of what we owe to that great wartime generation, now tragically dwindling to so few."

King Charles received a standing ovation as he walked on stage with Queen Camilla, and the Daily Mail reported he was "adamant" about attending the event as he continues to battle cancer.


In February, Buckingham Palace announced Charles had been diagnosed with a form of cancer and is undergoing treatment. A "separate issue of concern" was identified during the monarch's "benign prostate enlargement" procedure at the London Clinic.

"Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer," the palace said in a statement at the time.

In March, he attended Easter services, his first major event since announcing his cancer diagnosis, and officially returned to his public-facing duties in May.

During his speech, King Charles III also highlighted Portsmouth’s role in the mission, saying, "Those who gathered here in Portsmouth would never forget the sight. It was by far the largest military fleet the world has ever known. Yet all knew that both victory and failure were possible, and none could know their fate."


He concluded with a reminder to give thanks to those who served and lost their lives in service of freedom.

"So as we give thanks for all those who gave so much to win the victory, whose fruits we still enjoy to this day, let us once again commit ourselves always to remember, cherish and honor those who served that day and to live up to the freedom they died for by balancing rights with civic responsibilities to our country," he said. "For we are all eternally in their debt."

At one point during the proceedings, both King Charles and Queen Camilla appeared to tear up at the intensity of the emotional remembrances.

According to People, Prince William echoed his father’s sentiments during his speech, saying he was "deeply honored" to be speaking with the veterans who landed at Normandy, saying, "We will always remember those who served and those who waved them off. The mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters who watched their loved ones go into battle, unsure if they would ever return."


"Today, we remember the bravery of those who crossed this sea to liberate Europe, those who ensured that Operation Overlord was a success and those who waited for their safe return," he added.

The Prince of Wales also read a moving excerpt from the diary of Captain Alastair Bannerman, a soldier who was part of the D-Day landings, addressed to his wife just hours before the operation launched.

Dame Helen Mirren hosted the event, addressing the crowd, "The presence today of some of those who contributed to that remarkable venture is an extraordinary privilege. Your bravery remains as inspiring now as it was eight decades ago. Thank you," per The Daily Mail.

The Portsmouth event falls on the day before the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landing, which took place June 6, 1944. The seaside town hosted some of the 156,000 Allied and Commonwealth troops the day before the invasion, which altered the course of WWII.

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