Charles, Camilla and other Royals mark 200th anniversary of Waterloo at St Paul’s

Today members of the Royal Family marked the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo, which saw Emperor Napoleon toppled by Allied forces in Belgium.

A service was held at St Paul’s Cathedral to remember the nearly 180,000 men from Britain, Prussia and the Netherlands converged on the muddy battlefield at Waterloo, which lies in modern day Belgium.

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, leave St Paul’s Cathedral following a service of commemoration to mark the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. Soldiers from across the Army, including many from the Household Division, were joined by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales at a service of commemoration at St Paul’s Cathedral to mark the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. The Prince was accompanied by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, The Duke of Wellington and the Lord Mayor of London. After the service there was a reception for those attending the service at the Guildhall. Inside the cathedral the Colours, Standards and Guidons of the regiments whose forebears fought at Waterloo formed a colourful backdrop to the service, each one held by a soldier from the regiment in No1 ceremonial dress. Lining the steps to the Great West Door were soldiers from those regiments who were present at Waterloo but do not, for various historic reasons, have their own Colours. At the bottom of the steps were placed two guns from the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, which take the place of Colours for artillery regiments. Photographer: Sergeant Rupert Frere RLC

The Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Earl of Wessex and Duke and Duchess of Gloucester attended the service, alongside the Prime Minister and Mayor of London.

Lieutenant Achilles Barron of The Rifles read an extract from Major George Simmons of the 95th Rifles, who recounts struggling with the ‘thick clayey mud’ of the battlefield, and the poor weather on the eve of battle.

Squadron Sergeant Major Tony Gray of the Light Cavalry, aged 76, proudly wore three medals, including the Queen’s Medal for distinguished service.  He said: ‘This anniversary means a great deal. The battle changed history. Had we not won, we probably would be speaking French now.’

Isabella, 12, was picked to give flowers to The Duchess of Gloucester because one of her ancestors, Major Arthur Rowley Heyland, died at Waterloo.

This battle has been described as a cornerstone of European history, suppressing the empirical ambitions of Napoleon Bonaparte for France.

Yesterday, Prince Charles unveiled a memorial in Belgium, showing soldiers pushing the gate of Hougoumont shut;  it is said this was a turning point in the battle, changing its outcome.

Photos: Sergeant Rupert Frere RLC, © Crown copyright 2015

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