SOMME SERVICE: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry paid their respects to victims of war at a service to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme in France on Friday. The Battle of the Somme, which started on July 1, 1916, and ended on Nov. 18, 1916, left nearly 20,000 British soldiers dead and is considered the bloodiest day in the history of the British army.
The royal trio attended the service at Thiepval Memorial alongside the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Irish President Michael Higgins and French President Francois Hollande. They joined the family members of the fallen soldiers and listened to speeches at the solemn service. Afterward, Hollande took the young royals on a tour of the Thiepval Memorial visitor center. The royals walked around the grounds and spoke to school children and members of the public who attended the service. The duchess wore a cream lace peplum dress with black heels.
In London, Big Ben chimed after a two-minute silence as members of the British military and the public visited Westminster Abbey, which held an all-night vigil at the Grave of the Unknown Soldier.
Thursday night, the duke and duchess and Prince Harry visited Thiepval Memorial for a vigil service and viewed the battleground. In London, Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a service held at Westminster Abbey to pay tribute to the soldiers of the Somme while similar services honored the centenary held in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Queen laid a floral wreath on the Grave of the Unknown Soldier. Prime Minister David Cameron, his wife Samantha, and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn were among those who attended the service.