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Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall attends Auschwitz anniversary alongside European royals

Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, led the United Kingdom delegation in Poland for the service held to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day on Monday.

The duchess joined other European leaders for the official ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp at the Auschwitz-Birkenau site on Monday, near Oswiecim, Poland.

The 72-year-old was photographed sitting near King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Polish first lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda at the infamous death camp in Poland. Camilla was leading the UK delegation for the ceremony alongside Lord Eric Pickles, the UK Post-Holocaust Envoy. Queen Letizia and King Felipe VI of Spain, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Queen Maxima of The Netherlands were also in attendance.

The survivors of the holocaust along with 40 officials from across Europe were present for the ceremony, held underneath a tent above the former camp’s gatehouse. Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland, delivered the welcome address, followed by readings from a series of Auschwitz survivors, reports People.

After the ceremony, the duchess went ahead to meet the survivors. A video shared by Clarence House shows her meeting survivors Hannah Lewis and Renee Salt. Born in Poland in 1929, Renee Salt and her parents were taken by train to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Renee and her mother were liberated in 1945 after several years of atrocities under Nazi Control. Camilla had earlier also met Renee at the Holocaust Survivors Centre in North London in 2013.

Camilla’s husband Prince Charles did not attend the commemorative ceremony, however, released a statement on the day. He had earlier attended the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem along with other world leaders last Thursday. The Prince of Wales who happens to be the patron of The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust said in the statement: “As we stand at the milestone of seventy-five years since the end of the Holocaust, it is natural to reflect on how far we have come and what society might have learned since those dreadful events.”

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall greets President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos and his wife María Clemencia Rodríguez Múnera in their suite at the Rosewood hotel during a State visit in London
Chris Jackson/ Getty Images

“We can reflect that if we have found how devastating hatred can be, we have found that hope is stronger still. If we have seen the worst of human nature, we are the better prepared to guard against it,” the 71-year-old added.

Camilla and Charles had together attended the National Holocaust Memorial Day service in 2015, on the 70th anniversary of the liberation, and had met the survivors.

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