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06 June 2019

ALL eyes were on Portsmouth as the UK paid tribute to veterans at the national D-Day 75 commemorations in front of world leaders.

At an international event on Southsea Common, an audience of veterans, military, senior figures and local residents watched an hour-long performance telling the story of D-Day and the meticulous planning by allied forces that paved the way for the invasion of Normandy.

The event featured testimony from veterans, theatrical performances and live music, culminating in a flypast of 24 aircraft including the Red Arrows and the iconic Spitfire.

Veterans then enjoyed a reception where they met world leaders in before the majority were moved to The Royal British Legion’s specially-commissioned ship, the MV Boudicca, and a journey to Normandy for the French national commemorations.

The Royal British Legion ship set sail flanked by Royal Navy ships. Along the ships in port saluting the veterans as they went past was HMS Queen Elizabeth, the biggest ship in the history of the Royal Navy. Onboard to bid wave the veterans off was the Prime Minister Theresa May, the Defence Secretary Penny Mourdant and the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones.