Charles Embroiled in Row over Armistice Ceremony at Verdun; Entente Cordiale: President Nicolas Sarkozy Greets the Duchess of Cornwall and, Right, First Lady Carla Bruni Welcomes Prince Charles in Paris Last Night Ahead of Today's Marking of the 90th Anniversary of the Armistice

The Evening Standard (London, England), November 11, 2008 | Go to article overview

Charles Embroiled in Row over Armistice Ceremony at Verdun; Entente Cordiale: President Nicolas Sarkozy Greets the Duchess of Cornwall and, Right, First Lady Carla Bruni Welcomes Prince Charles in Paris Last Night Ahead of Today's Marking of the 90th Anniversary of the Armistice


Byline: PETER ALLEN

PRINCE CHARLES was today risking a backlash after agreeing to attend a controversial First World War commemoration in France.

The Prince and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, were joining European Union dignitaries at Verdun, close to the German border, to mark the 90th anniversary of the Armistice.

But the location, chosen by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the scene of one of the bloodiest actions in military history, has angered many, including British veterans and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The veterans believe Verdun is an "inappropriate" place for the ceremony because no British soldiers fought there.

They are angry that Charles will not mark the 90th anniversary on a British battlefield, such as the Somme or Ypres.

Arthur Titherington, who was a prisoner of war during the 1939-45 conflict, said: "I would have expected Prince Charles to be at a British battlefield on

November 11th." They have found an unusual ally in Mrs Merkel, who pulled out at the last minute, angry that the ceremony will not be held in Paris as is usual. More than 250,000 French and Germans died at the strategic redoubt of Verdun in 1916, with no strategic gain on either side.

When Mr Sarkozy took the decision to switch this year's commemorations from Paris, a French government report stated "the presence of the German

Chancellor will be particularly symbolic". …

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Charles Embroiled in Row over Armistice Ceremony at Verdun; Entente Cordiale: President Nicolas Sarkozy Greets the Duchess of Cornwall and, Right, First Lady Carla Bruni Welcomes Prince Charles in Paris Last Night Ahead of Today's Marking of the 90th Anniversary of the Armistice
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