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

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

"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.

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.

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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.

"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.

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

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.

"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.

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.

This evening, an 80-strong flotilla of boats left Falmouth, Cornwall, where around 27,000 American troops departed on D-Day.