Queen Elizabeth II (front) speaks during the D-Day commemorations in Portsmouth, Britain, on June 5, 2019. British Prime Minister Theresa May and 15 world leaders joined Queen Elizabeth II in the English naval port city of Portsmouth Wednesday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. (Xinhua)
LONDON, June 5 (Xinhua) -- British Prime Minister Theresa May and 15 world leaders joined Queen Elizabeth II in the English naval port city of Portsmouth Wednesday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
May was in her final official engagement before she resigns Friday.
Over 300 D-Day veterans joined around 60,000 people to watch one of the greatest British military spectacles in recent years.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump on the final day of his three-day State Visit to Britain.
French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were also among the guests.
Over 4,000 military personnel are involved in the D-Day events taking place in Britain as well as in France over two days.
An hour-long performance told the story of D-Day and the planning by allied forces that paved the way for the invasion of Normandy.
The event also included a flypast of old and new aircraft, including the Red Arrows and the historic Spitfire, the fighter plane that played a key role in the defense of Britain.
May said in a message to mark the event: "The Normandy landings 75 years ago were a moment of historic international cooperation."
She paid tribute to the troops for their bravery and sacrifice on the beaches of Normandy which marked a turning point in the Second World War, adding: "We will vow never to forget the debt we owe them."
Commemorations on the French side will begin Thursday morning with a lone piper from the British Army marking the exact moment the first British soldier landed on Gold Beach.