King and Queen to open D-Day education centre in France

The King and Queen will open a new educational centre at the site of the British Normandy memorial in France on Thursday to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

The Winston Churchill Centre for Education and Learning will house two exhibition galleries, curated by the Royal British Legion, telling the stories of those who fought on D-Day and in the Battle of Normandy.

The centre will also feature a purpose-built classroom to host school groups, teaching them how the landings were possible.

It will be open to be public from Friday June 7 and entry will be free.

The opening will also be attended by Rishi Sunak, Sir Keir Starmer, General Lord Richard Dannatt, the chairman of the Normandy Memorial Trust and Cressida Hogg, the chairwoman of BAE Systems – a defence company which funded the centre through a donation of £600,000 to the Trust.

The Ministry of Defence also contributed to the centre’s construction, alongside the Normandy Region, the Department of Calvados and the Seulles Terre et Mer Community of Communes.

Lord Dannatt said: “The purpose of this education centre is to ensure that new generations never forget what Britain did for Europe in 1944 and to remember the sacrifice of so many.”

Normandy veteran and ambassador for the Memorial, Ken Hay MBE, added: “I have no doubt that the new Education Centre can only enhance future generation’s understanding of this key battle in the Second World War, the part we played in the liberation of Europe and, most important, the price paid by those that we veterans left behind.”