Princess Anne opens new Garden of Reflection in Liverpool to commemorate the 65,000 soldiers who were killed in Battle of the Atlantic during WWII
- Princess Royal, 72, delivered a speech to crowds to mark the official opening
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Princess Anne cut a solemn figure as she opened a new war memorial garden in Liverpool today.
The Princess Royal, 72, was accompanied by her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, 68, for the poignant engagement this afternoon.
Just over 78 years ago, the Battle of the Atlantic came to a close after almost six years.
The military campaign was the longest-running battle of WWII and claimed the lives of 65,000 seamen from September 1939 to May 1945.
The opening of the Garden of Reflection in the grounds of Our Lady And St Nicholas’s Church is the first of several commemorative events happening in Liverpool this weekend.
Princess Anne delivered a poignant speech – where she highlighted how important it was that the story of the military campaign was ‘properly told’
For the occasion, Princess Anne opted for a navy silk blazer over a knee-length white dress with a pleated skirt.
The royal swept her hair into her signature up-do and wore some dangly pearl earrings with a matching necklace.
Finishing off her elegant ensemble, Anne wore a pair of simple black leather pumps, some navy gloves and carried a black leather handbag.
Meanwhile, Vice Admiral Laurence looked smart in a grey suit with his full military medals on display.
The Princess’ partner also wore his Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order – which he was awarded by the Queen in 2011 – on his suit pocket too.
The royal couple were pictured greeting the Rector Dr Crispin Pailing as they arrived at the ceremony before being taken on a tour of the memorial.
During the engagement, Princess Anne also delivered a poignant speech – where she highlighted how important it was that the story of the military campaign was ‘properly told’.
Liverpool played a pivotal role in the Battle of the Atlantic as it was where the Western Approaches Command Centre was based from 1942.
Pictured: Princess Anne pictured arriving at the memorial garden with Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence and Rector Dr Crispin Pailing
The royal couple pose for a photo with Rector Dr Crispin Pailing outside of Our Lady And St Nicholas’s Church
Pictured: Princess Anne admires the new Battle of the Atlantic memorial garden in Liverpool today
The Allies’ victory in the Battle of the Atlantic was ‘fundamental’ to the outcome of the Second World War, according to a historian.
Speaking on how important the battle was, Jonathan Dimbleby, who wrote Battle of the Atlantic: How the Allies Won the War, told HistoryExtra: ‘It was fundamental.
‘The Atlantic was the route by which all resources came to Britain, without which the country would have collapsed.
‘Had we lost the battle, we wouldn’t have had enough weapons – nor the industrial capacity to make weapons – and American troops would not have been able to get across for D-Day. In fact, there wouldn’t have been a D-Day.
Winston Churchill described the Battle of the Atlantic as ‘the dominating factor all through the war’, as control of Atlantic shipping routes was central to the British war effort.
The Princess Royal speaking as she opens a new national memorial and Garden of Reflection for the Battle of the Atlantic
Liverpool mayor Steve Rotheram (centre right) attends the opening of the national memorial today
Vice Admiral Laurence looked smart in a grey suit with his full military medals and his Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order on display
The naval blockade of Germany started the day after war was declared in September 1939, and did not officially end until VE Day in May 1945, after 35,000 Allied troops had been killed in the battle.
It saw the Royal Navy and the RAF, allied with U.S. forces, contend against German U-boats and the Luftwaffe to allow supplies and materials to reach Britain.
Fighting reached a peak in the spring of 1943, as the Allies took the upper hand thanks to new technology such as radar and longer-range aircraft.
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