The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall at a two-minute silence to mark VE Day

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall today marked the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

75 years ago, people across the Commonwealth marked the end of war in Europe with a mixture of jubilation and quiet reflection on the many sacrifices which had been made for peace.

King George VI made a radio broadcast to the people of the Commonwealth to mark the end of the war.

At 11AM, The Prince led the nation in a two-minute silence from Scotland. The Prince laid a wreath and The Duchess placed flowers at the memorial in remembrance of those who died in the Second World War.

The Duchess of Cornwall has recorded excerpts from her father’s own accounts of his time serving with the 12th Royal Lancers during WWII - listen to the extracts below and read more about Major Shand

In an excerpt from his book Previous Engagements, selected by Her Royal Highness to share on VE Day, Major Shand recalls his time serving in North Africa in 1942 which saw him lose two of his closest comrades during the Battle of El Alamein and taken to Germany as a prisoner of war.

In a second reading, The Duchess recounts her father’s words as he recalls escaping capture in 1945, meeting with American soldiers and returning to Britain.

To mark VE Day, The Duchess of Cornwall spoke to two veterans of the 7th Armoured Division, also known as the Desert Rats, who served in North Africa during the Second World War: Sergeant Major Len Burritt and Jimmy Sinclair.

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“As the proud Patron of the Desert Rats Association I was lucky enough to speak this morning to two of its remarkable survivors; Len Burritt who will be 102 in August and Jimmy Sinclair who is a staggering 107…They both fought with outstanding courage in the “Desert” war, in the same battles as my father did and I salute them both. These two distinguished veterans remind us of the heroic struggles they, and their fellow Desert Rats took part in all those years ago to hasten the end of World War II.” -The Duchess of Cornwall To mark the 75th Anniversary of VE Day, The Duchess of Cornwall has spoken to two veterans of the 7th Armoured Division, also known as the Desert Rats who served in North Africa during the Second World War. To recognise this important day, The Duchess has also sent the two surviving Desert Rats some homemade biscuits from Birkhall. Sergeant Major Len Burritt (aged 101) served as a personal wireless operator of the General Officer Commanding the Division, spending seven years on the front lines in North Africa, and was one of the first to wear the Desert Rat emblem. Sergeant Major Burritt served with The Duchess of Cornwall’s father, Major Shand, and first met HRH in 2007 at the 65th anniversary commemorations of the Battle of El-Alamnein. They have been in regular correspondence ever since. Jimmy Sinclair served as a gunner with the elite Chestnut Troop of the First Regiment Horse Artillery and spent four years in the North African desert as part of the effort to defeat Field Marshall Rommel in 1942. He first met The Duchess in 2010 and is now in regular correspondence with her. On his 100th birthday in August 2012, HRH hosted a surprise birthday tea for Jimmy and some of his family at the Palace of Holyrood House in May 2012. Now 107 years old, he is the oldest surviving Desert Rat and has been widely praised for his steely commitment to helping his country. The Duchess of Cornwall has been Patron of the Desert Rats Memorial Association since 2007 and her father, Major Shand, served as a Desert Rat during the Second World War.

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On 8th May 1945, King George VI recorded his thoughts in his wartime diary.

The King expressed relief that "the day we have been longing for has arrived at last."

The Prince of Wales today read an extract from his grandfather King George VI’s diary which describes The King’s experience of VE Day 75 years ago.