News, Culture & Society

Dutch and Belgian royal families commemorate 75th anniversary of liberation during World War II

The Dutch and Belgian royal families came together today to commemorate the Battle of the Scheldt 75 years ago, which marked the turning point of the Second World War and led to the liberation of Belgium and the Netherlands. 

The battle saw allied troops open up a shipping route to Antwerp, which allowed the port to be used to supply allied forces in north-west Europe – a move crucial for liberation.

King Willem-Alexander kicked off today’s event in the presence of 700 guests from all over the world, and was joined by Queen Maxima, Belgium’s King Phillipe and Queen Mathilde and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. 

The service will begin a year of commemorations for the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, but it mainly focused on the liberation of the southern part of the country today. 

Queen Maxima and Queen Mathilde celebrate the start of 75 years of freedom in the Netherlands. During the celebration, special attention is given to the liberation of the southern Netherlands and the Battle of the Scheldt

King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima, King Philippe, Queen Mathilde and Mark Rutte during the 75th Anniversary of World War II Liberation event in Terneuzen, Netherlands. In the presence of 700 international guests, they attend a spectacle of testimonies and evocations for the anniversary of the battle Battle of the Scheldt

King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima, King Philippe, Queen Mathilde and Mark Rutte during the 75th Anniversary of World War II Liberation event in Terneuzen, Netherlands. In the presence of 700 international guests, they attend a spectacle of testimonies and evocations for the anniversary of the battle Battle of the Scheldt

The battle saw allied troops open up a shipping route to Antwerp, which allowed the port to be used to supply allied forces in north-west Europe – a move which was crucial for the liberation of Belgium and the Netherlands

The battle saw allied troops open up a shipping route to Antwerp, which allowed the port to be used to supply allied forces in north-west Europe – a move which was crucial for the liberation of Belgium and the Netherlands

At the invitation of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde participate at the commemoration of the Battle of the Scheldt today, which saw guests invited from around the world

At the invitation of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde participate at the commemoration of the Battle of the Scheldt today, which saw guests invited from around the world

The two kings invited veterans from different countries to mark the year of festivities by ringing a buoy. A naval parade closes the ceremony

The two kings invited veterans from different countries to mark the year of festivities by ringing a buoy. A naval parade closes the ceremony

King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands rings a bell as he attends the 75th anniversary of the liberation of The Netherlands

King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands rings a bell as he attends the 75th anniversary of the liberation of The Netherlands

Eight veterans, who came from Poland, America, Canada, Britain and the Netherlands and who helped to liberate the Netherlands during World War II took centre stage on Saturday.

They were given a standing ovation as the royals and the hundreds in attendance thanked them for their role in the Battle of the Scheldt.

An international fleet, made up of 11 navy ships, also fired a round of shots over the Westerschelde estuary to honour both the veterans present as well as the 10,000 soldiers and civilians who died in the offensive.

This was followed by King Willem-Alexander sounding the same bell that was sounded in 1944 to say that the passage to Antwerp was clear.

Queen Maxima and Queen Mathilde during today's ceremony. The service will begin a year of commemorations for the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, but it mainly focused on the liberation of the southern part of the country today

Queen Maxima and Queen Mathilde during today’s ceremony. The service will begin a year of commemorations for the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, but it mainly focused on the liberation of the southern part of the country today

An international fleet, made up of 11 navy ships, also fired a round of shots over the Westerschelde estuary to honour both the veterans present as well as the 10,000 soldiers and civilians who died

An international fleet, made up of 11 navy ships, also fired a round of shots over the Westerschelde estuary to honour both the veterans present as well as the 10,000 soldiers and civilians who died

King Willem-Alexander later sounded the same bell that was sounded in 1944 to say that the passage to Antwerp was clear

King Willem-Alexander later sounded the same bell that was sounded in 1944 to say that the passage to Antwerp was clear

The festivities will continue up to the autumn of 2020, to celebrate 75 years since the launch of the United Nations.

Among the veterans was Max Wolff, 93, who, as a teenager, was an interpreter for Allied troops that were part of the liberation of France, Belgium and the Netherlands. 

British veteran Roy Maxwell, who fought for the 4th Commandos in the Battle of the Scheldt, was also greeted by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima during the celebration. 

The US Ambassador to the Netherlands, Pete Hoekstra, said: ‘We have had 75 years of freedom and prosperity,’ the ambassador said. ‘We want to continue for another 75 years.’

Queen Maxima and Queen Mathilde celebrate the start of 75 years of freedom in the Netherlands. Among the veterans was Max Wolff, 93, who, as a teenager, was an interpreter for Allied troops that were part of the liberation of France, Belgium and the Netherlands

Queen Maxima and Queen Mathilde celebrate the start of 75 years of freedom in the Netherlands. Among the veterans was Max Wolff, 93, who, as a teenager, was an interpreter for Allied troops that were part of the liberation of France, Belgium and the Netherlands

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima at the event today. Among the veterans was Max Wolff, 93, who, as a teenager, was an interpreter for Allied troops that were part of the liberation of France, Belgium and the Netherlands

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima at the event today. Among the veterans was Max Wolff, 93, who, as a teenager, was an interpreter for Allied troops that were part of the liberation of France, Belgium and the Netherlands

The US Ambassador to the Netherlands, Pete Hoekstra, said: 'We have had 75 years of freedom and prosperity,' the ambassador said. 'We want to continue for another 75 years'

The US Ambassador to the Netherlands, Pete Hoekstra, said: ‘We have had 75 years of freedom and prosperity,’ the ambassador said. ‘We want to continue for another 75 years’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.