Prime Minister and Red Arrows to lead D-Day 80 commemorations

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will leads tributes for the 80th anniversary of D-Day with events in Portsmouth and Normandy on 5 and 6 June 2024.

Thousands of members of the public will join D-Day veterans, Armed Forces personnel and special guests to pay tribute to veterans of the Greatest Generation. The events will ensure the message and legacy of D-Day lives on in a new generation, as hundreds of Portsmouth schoolchildren attend a spectacular cultural commemoration on Southsea Common on 5 June.

Welcoming the plans, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

The country will pay tribute to the heroes who fought against the odds to liberate Europe 80 years ago.

We can never forget those who sacrificed so much to defend the freedom of the UK and our closest allies.

A ticketed event on Southsea Common on 5 June will be the focus of the commemorations at home. The event will feature powerful testimonies from military personnel and D-Day veterans as well as musical performances by a military orchestra.

Veterans who choose to travel to Normandy for the commemorations will be given a spectacular send-off by the Armed Forces as they cross the Channel.

The Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will perform a flypast overhead, while Royal Navy ships in Portsmouth Harbour will sail past in formation, sounding their sirens.

housands of Armed Forces personnel and members of the public will take part in events in Normandy and Portsmouth this June.

On the evening on 5 June, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Bayeux War Cemetery will host a spectacular lightshow as the Armed Forces form a vigil.

The names of the 25,000 fallen personnel commemorated at the cemetery will be read aloud.

On 6 June, the Ministry of Defence and the Royal British Legion will host the UK’s national commemorative event for the 80th anniversary of D-Day at the British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer.

The event will conclude with a traditional act of remembrance, including the Last Post and a two-minute silence.

More than 1,600 members of the Armed Forces will lead the commemorations in France. The commemorations also involve contributions from a Royal Marines landing craft, five Royal Navy patrol vessels, minesweeper HMS Cattistock and the British Army’s Red Devils parachute display team.

Praising the contribution of the Armed Forces to the plans, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said:

The 80th anniversary of D-Day serves as a reminder never to forget those who fought and died so we might live in freedom and at peace. Their testimony serves as a timeless symbol of the importance of unity, the value of peace and the pursuit of freedom in the face of tyranny.

The eyes of the world will rightfully once again be on these men and women, and I am proud of the work being done by the Armed Forces to pay tribute to the heroes of D-Day at the commemorative events in June.