Prince William Unites with King Charles and Queen Camilla for D-Day 80th Anniversary Event

Prince William united with King Charles and Queen Camilla for a poignant occasion.

The Prince of Wales, 41, stepped out with the King, 75, and Queen, 76, in Portsmouth, England, on June 5 for the U.K.’s national commemorative event to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day Landings. The occasion, which brought the three most senior working members of the royal family together, was the first of several events the royals are undertaking to commemorate D-Day this year.

Prince William was first to arrive at Southsea Common and was soon joined by King Charles and Queen Camilla. The trio attended the event alongside veterans, including some involved in the D-Day Landings, and spent some time meeting them following a ceremony.

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King Charles in Porstmouth for D-Day.LEON NEAL/GETTY

During the event, which was also attended by the U.K.’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and actress Helen Mirren, William delivered a speech and a touching reading from the diary of Captain Alastair Bannerman, a soldier who was part of the D-Day Landings.

Sharing that he was “deeply honored” to be joining veterans from the Normandy landing, William said, “We will always remember those who served and those who waved them off. The mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters who watched their loved ones go into battle, unsure if they would ever return.”

“Today we remember the bravery of those who crossed this sea to liberate Europe. Those who ensured that Operation Overlord was a success. And those who waited for their safe return,” he added.

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Prince William and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.DYLAN MARTINEZ – POOL/GETTY

For the occasion, William wore five medals, including the Great Master of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, marking the first time he has worn the medal. The Prince’s other medals included the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee medal and the Coronation medal.

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The Portsmouth event fell the day before the 80th anniversary of D-Day, which changed the course of World War II. On June 6, 1944, about 7,000 ships and landing craft, 156,000 men and 10,000 vehicles attacked German forces in Normandy, France. The campaign cost the lives of 10,000 German and Allied men and marked the start of the liberation of Nazi-occupied northwest Europe.

King Charles, Queen Camilla and Prince William aren’t the only members of the royal family out and about on the eve of the historic military operation. The palace previously announced that Princess Anne would make four engagements in Normandy on June 5 with her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence. The full schedule for Princess Anne is no surprise to royal watchers, as the Princess Royal, 73, has clocked the most engagements of any member of the royal family for the past several years.

On June 6, King Charles, Queen Camilla and Prince William are all set to step out in France to remember the sacrifices made by troops on D-Day.

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Prince William.LEON NEAL/GETTY

The trip abroad is especially meaningful for King Charles as his first trip overseas since Buckingham Palace announced in February that he was diagnosed with cancer. The monarch resumed more forward-facing duties in late April after primarily working behind the scenes and hosting only small audiences in the weeks following his health news.

In March, a royal source told PEOPLE, “One thing that has been wholly undiminished is his appetite for work.” Echoing the sentiment, King Charles joked that he was glad to be “out of my cage” during a stop at the Royal School of Military Engineering on May 9, his first solo outing since resuming public duties.

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King Charles and Queen Camilla are slated to commemorate D-Day on June 6 at the British Normandy Memorial at Ver-sur-Mer with the Ministry of Defence and the Royal British Legion, of which the King is patron, while Prince William embraces the role of international statesman.

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Following the Canadian commemorative ceremony at the Juno Beach Centre in Courseulles-sur-Mer tomorrow, the Prince of Wales will attend the international commemorative ceremony at Omaha Beach in Saint Laurent sur Mer. There, the heir to the throne will join over 25 heads of state and veterans from around the world as the ceremony honors the estimated 160,000 American, British and Canadian troops who landed at the beach on D-Day.

Prince William returned to public royal duties in mid-April after taking a few weeks off to spend time with his family after his wife Kate Middleton announced in March that she was diagnosed with cancer and began treatment.

The Princess of Wales, 42, has maintained a low profile in the weeks since. Sources tell PEOPLE she has been spotted out with her family and solo running errands.

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