Princess Anne opens a new memorial garden to commemorate soldiers killed in the Battle of the Atlantic
Princess Anne cut a celebratory figure as she opened a new war memorial garden in Liverpool today.
The Princess Royal, 72, was joined by her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, 68, for the poignant engagement this afternoon.
A little over 78 years ago, the Battle of the Atlantic came to an end after almost six years.
The campaign was the longest-running battle of World War II, claiming the lives of 65,000 sailors from September 1939 to May 1945.
The opening of the Garden of Reflection in the grounds of Our Lady And St Nicholas’s Church is the first of several commemorative events taking place in Liverpool this weekend.
Princess Anne gave a poignant speech – in which she stressed the importance of getting the history of the military campaign “told properly”.
For the occasion, Princess Anne opted for a dark blue silk blazer over a knee-length white dress with a pleated skirt.
The Queen tucked her hair into her signature updo and wore some dangling pearl earrings with a matching necklace.
To complete her elegant ensemble, Anne wore a pair of plain black leather pumps, some dark blue gloves and a black leather handbag.
Meanwhile, Vice Admiral Laurence looked smart in his gray suit with his full military medals.
The Princess’ partner also wore his Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, bestowed on him by the Queen in 2011, on his suit pocket too.
The royal couple were pictured welcoming Rector Dr. Crispin Pailing saluted as it arrived at the ceremony before being taken on a tour of the memorial.
During the engagement, Princess Anne also gave a poignant speech, stressing the importance of getting the story of the military operation “told properly”.
Liverpool played a crucial role in the Battle of the Atlantic as the Western Approaches Command Center was stationed here from 1942.
Pictured: Princess Anne arriving at the Memorial Garden with Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence and Rector Dr. Crispin Pailing
The royal couple pose for a photo with Rector Dr. Crispin Pailing in front of the Church of Our Lady and Saint Nicholas
Pictured: Princess Anne admires the new Battle of the Atlantic Memorial Garden in Liverpool today
According to one historian, the Allied victory in the Battle of the Atlantic was “fundamental” to the outcome of World War II.
Jonathan Dimbleby, author of Battle of the Atlantic: How the Allies Won the War, told HistoryExtra how important the battle was: “It was fundamental.”
“The Atlantic was the route by which all resources came to Britain, without which the country would have collapsed.”
“Had we lost the battle, we would not have had enough weapons – nor the industrial capacity to manufacture weapons – and American troops would not have been able to get over to D-Day.” In fact, there would have been no D- given day.
Winston Churchill described the Battle of the Atlantic as “the dominant factor throughout the war” as control of the Atlantic shipping routes was central to the British war effort.
The Princess Royal speaks as she opens a new national memorial and garden of reflection for the Battle of the Atlantic
Liverpool Mayor Steve Rotheram (centre right) attends the opening of the National Monument today
Vice-Admiral Laurence looked smart in his gray suit with his full military medals and his Knight in Command of the Royal Victorian Order
The naval blockade of Germany began the day after war was declared in September 1939 and did not officially end until VE Day in May 1945, after 35,000 Allied soldiers were killed in the battle.
The Royal Navy and the RAF, allied with US forces, fought against German submarines and the Luftwaffe for the supply of supplies and material to Great Britain.
Fighting peaked in the spring of 1943, when the Allies gained the upper hand thanks to new technologies such as radar and longer-range aircraft.