Kate and William arrive at Holocaust ceremony in London after poignant photoshoot
The royal couple were among high-profile guests at this afternoon’s commemorative ceremony 75 years after the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Prince William, 37, will read a passage during the service before the Cambrdiges will meet Holocaust survivors as well as those who have lived through other genocides. The pair will be introduced to men and women who have witnessed horror such as the genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
Kate donned a fitted grey caot dress by one of her favourite designers, Catherine Walker.
The mother-of-three paired the belted knee-lenght dress with pearl stud earrings.
Upon arrival, William and Kate were met by Olivia Marks-Woldman, CEO of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.
Prince Charles is patron of the trust, which promotes events to remember the massacre each year.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge brave the rain as they head to a Holocaust Memorial service
Kate stunned in a grey knee-length dress for the sombre occasion
Kate waves to a crowd of well-wishers in Westminster
Ms Marks-Woldman said in a statement: “The UK ceremony is the national focal point for more than 10,000 Holocaust Memorial Day activities which are taking place in community settings from schools to libraries, and from councils to prisons.
“At every event to mark the day, people know more about the past, develop empathy for others, and commit to taking action to create a better future.”
The Cambridges’ appearance comes after the duchess, 38, released photos she took of two Holocaust survivors and their grandchildren.
Kate shot the portraits of Yvonne Bernstein and Steven Frank at Kensington Palace, next to a window facing east – the direction of Jerusalem.
Prince William and Kate speak with Olivia Marks-Woldmanm, CEO of Holocaust Memorial Day Trust
Mrs Bernstein, originally from Germany, was a hidden child in France throughout most of the war.
She was joined by her 11-year-old granddaughter Chloe Wright for the photoshoot.
Mr Frank, 84, originally from Amsterdam, was pictured with his two teenage granddaughters looking at him in a loving way.
Fifteen-year-old Maggie and 13-year-old Trixie Fleet are seen gazing at their grandfather who survived multiple concentration camps.
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Kate chose a fitted grey dress for the sombre service
Kate chose pearl detail earrings for the event to mark Holocaust Memorial Day
Kate shields her sleek locks from the rain in Westminster
In a statement, Kate said: “It is vital that their memories are preserved and passed on to future generations, so that what they went through will never be forgotten.”
The royal wife spoke of how touched she was by her meeting with the two survivors and hearing their accounts of the horrors they suffered.
She said: “Their stories will stay with me forever.”
Some 200 survivors of the notorious death camp will today return to Auschwitz, coming from as far as the United States, Peru, Israel and Australia.
Kate donned a Catherine Walker dress coat for the Holocaust Memorial event
Kate and William are seen seated in the front row at the Westminster event
The survivors will be joined by their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as they embark on the journey back to the place where so many of their fellow Jews perished.
The Duchess of Cornwall will attend the event in Auschwitz, as will Spain’s King Philip VI and Queen Letizia, and Belgium’s King Philipe and Queen Mathilde.
Other dignitaries include Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, Germany’ President Frank Walter Steinmeier and Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin.
The Nazis killed around six million Jews during World War II as well as millions of other ethnic minorities.
Steven Frank, 84, with his granddaughters Maggie, 15, and Trixie Fleet, 13
Yvonne Bernstein, is pictured with her granddaughter Chloe Wright, 11
By the time Soviet forces arrived at Auschwitz on January 27, 1945, around 7,000 prisoners were still alive.
Many Jews refer to the Holocaust as the Shoah, the Hebrew word for the massacre.
Last week the Prince of Wales traveled to Israel where he gave a moving speech to world leaders in Jerusalem.
Watched by US Vice-President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence, Charles said the lessons of the Holocaust remain “searingly relevant to this day”.
He spoke about the “hatred and intolerance” which still exists in “the human heart” today.
His address was watched by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Rivlin.
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