D-Day 80: What key events are happening in France and the UK?

D-Day veterans, royalty and world leaders are expected to gather in Normandy to mark the 80th anniversary of the largest seaborne military invasion in history.

Events will occur in the UK and France, commemorating the allied troops involved in Operation Overlord on June 6 1944.

Here are some of the key commemoration events taking place:

May – June
A Torch of Commemoration organised by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission will travel from the UK to Normandy to mark D-Day’s 80th anniversary.

Events will take place at locations across the UK before crossing to Normandy for the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

The torch ceremony will begin at Botley Cemetery, Oxford on May 15 and the flame will then travel to City Cemetery, Cambridge on May 16, Brookwood Military Cemeteries in Surrey on May 17, and the Naval Memorial, Kent on May 18.

It will continue on to Plymouth’s Naval Memorial on May 20, Haycombe Cemetery, Bath, on May 21, Newark Cemetery on May 23, and Stonefall Cemetery in Harrogate on May 24.

Further events will include a torch ceremony and exhibition at Imperial War Museum North in Manchester on May 29 and a symbolic lighting of the torch followed by speeches by veterans at the National War Museum in Edinburgh on the same date.

Other events paying tribute to those carrying the torches will take place at Runnymede Memorial, Surrey on May 30 and the D-Day Story museum in Portsmouth on June 3.

The final leg, starting on June 4, will see the living flame of commemoration light every Commonwealth War Graves Commission grave in Normandy.

– June 5

The Royal British Legion (RBL) will lead a service at the Bayeux war cemetery in Normandy, hosting D-Day veterans and the families of those who served, and focusing on the personal experiences of troops.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

In the evening, a candlelit vigil is to be held at the cemetery, where 4,500 graves will be illuminated, while the Commonwealth War Graves Commission is leading a service at Bayeux Cathedral.

Meanwhile, thousands of people will join D-Day veterans and VIP guests on Southsea Common in Portsmouth.

The event is set to feature military musicians, a Royal Air Force flypast and tributes from speakers, and will be broadcast live across the UK and the world.

– June 6

The UK national commemorative event in France will be held in the daytime at the British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer, which contains the names of the 22,442 servicemen and women who fell during D-Day.

Veterans and 2,000 guests will be in attendance, including high-ranking figures, with this year marking the first time the British Normandy Memorial has been at the heart of major anniversary commemorations.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

The official international ceremony takes place at Omaha Beach, where around 2,500 American soldiers died.

French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to attend along with other global heads of state, as well as veterans.

On Normandy’s Juno Beach, the Government of Canada will host a ceremony to honour Canadian soldiers involved in the invasion.

At 2pm in the UK, the RBL will host a service of remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, with veterans and their families set to attend.

The arboretum will be open as normal on the day, allowing visitors to watch the service within the grounds.

– June 7

The Spirit of Normandy Trust is due to host a service at Ranville cemetery.