The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attend the 100th anniversary commemorations of the Somme

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attended the 100th anniversary commemorations of the Somme in France today.

Their Royal Highnesses began the commemorations at a special midday service at Thiepval, which was also attended by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande were also in attendance, as well as a number of other world leaders and members of the Armed Services. The Prince and The Duchess previously attended the 90th anniversary commemorations of the Somme in July 2006.

The Prince of Wales lays a wreath at the Ulster Memorial Tower in Thiepval, France, during a service to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the battle of the Somme.
The Prince of Wales lays a wreath at the Ulster Memorial Tower in Thiepval, France, during a service to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the battle of the Somme.

The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing, bears the names of more than 72,000 UK and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave.

The commemorative service began with the playing of the first six bars of the British and French National Anthems before The Royal Horse Artillery sounded their guns to mark the start of the service.

During the service, a number of readings took place. The Prince of Wales read an extract from The Old Front Line by English poet John Masefield. 

After the service, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall and The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester attended a ceremony at the Ulster Memorial Tower, paying tribute to the Northern Irish forces who were killed at the Somme. 

The final service Their Royal Highnesses attended was the Ceremony of Remembrance at the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial, which was hosted by the Government of Canada to remember all the Canadian soldiers who fought and died at the Somme. 

The memorial is marked by a bronze Caribou, the emblem of the Newfoundland Regiment. 

TRH at the grave of Captain Harry Cubitt, The Duchess's Great Uncle
TRH at the grave of Captain Harry Cubitt, The Duchess's Great Uncle

Before departing France today, The Duchess of Cornwall travelled to Carnoy Military Cemetery to lay flowers at the grave of her Great Uncle, Captain Harry Cubitt. 

Captain Harry Cubitt served with the 3rd Battalion of the Coldstream Guards and was killed during the second Battle of the Somme on 15 September 1916.