Princess Anne has assumed a novel role close to her heart as the freshly appointed president of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), succeeding her cousin, the Duke of Kent, who recently retired.
For over five decades, the Duke of Kent held the esteemed position of CWGC president, describing it as both a “privilege and honor.” The 88-year-old expressed anticipation in witnessing Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal champion this extraordinary organization, ensuring future generations continue to commemorate the sacrifice of Commonwealth men and women.
The CWGC diligently tends to the war graves of Commonwealth soldiers who perished in the First and Second World Wars. Their commitment extends to honoring more than 1.7 million individuals resting in 23,000 diverse locations across 150 countries and territories.
Princess Anne's involvement is not solitary; her brother, King Charles, assumes the role of the CWGC's inaugural patron.
Reflecting on her newfound position, Anne remarked, “In documenting and upholding the graves of Commonwealth individuals who fell during both world wars, the CWGC plays a substantial role in commemorating those who sacrificed greatly for our future. Whether vast or compact, their cemeteries consistently leave an impact.
“I am privileged to accept the presidency of this organization and recognize the challenge of upholding the dedicated work initiated by His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent for over half a century. Safeguarding the legacy of those from the Commonwealth who forfeited their future to secure ours is an honor. We shall keep their memory alive.”
The upcoming weekend promises to be eventful for both Anne and Charles as they pay homage to the fallen heroes in various engagements. On Saturday, distinguished members of the royal family will attend performances at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.
This year's Festival commemorates the 80th anniversary of The Battle of the Atlantic and the 70th anniversary of the Korean War. Occurring on the eve of Remembrance Day, the annual event serves as an opportunity for the nation to express gratitude to all who served and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The Festival also paid tribute to the exceptional contributions of the Windrush generation to the military, in honor of the 75th anniversary of the HMT Empire Windrush's arrival.
On Sunday, senior royals will show their respect at the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in Whitehall. Traditionally, as Head of the Armed Forces, the monarch lays the first wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.