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The Royal Family commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Holocaust

The Duchess of Cambridge lights one of 75 candles to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Photo: PA

This Holocaust Memorial Day marked the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Members of the Royal Family commemorated the day with ceremonies paying tribute to victims and survivors of these atrocities. An estimate 1.4 million people were deported to Auschwitz between 1940 and 1945, at least 1.1 million were killed within the concentration camp. Holocaust Memorial Day is celebrated annually in the United Kingdom and across Europe as a time for people to come together to learn more about the past in order to ensure a safer future.

The Duchess of Cambridge has taken two portraits of Holocaust survivors and their families for a project by The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, Jewish News and the Royal Photographic Society. The Duchesses portraits will be featured in an exhibition of 75 survivors portraits that will open later this year.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a commemorative ceremony to mark the anniversary. Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty

A longtime fan of photography, Catherine works with both the National Portrait Gallery and the National Photographic Society in her role as patron. She has regularly shared portraits of her own children to mark special occasions such as the first day of school or birthdays. During the couples tour of Pakistan last year, the Duchess also released photographs she took of people living in rural areas of the country.

Catherine spoke with Yvonne, one of the two holocaust survivors the Duchess photographed. Photo: Getty

Following the release of the photographs the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a commemorative ceremony at Central Hall in Westminster. The Duke gave a reading during the services and their Royal Highness's lit candles to commemorate the anniversary. Prince William shared a story of his great-grandmother, Princess Alice, who helped shield a Jewish family, the Cohen's while she lived in the Nazi occupied city of Athens.

Following the ceremony the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met with Holocaust survivors and survivors of genocide that have happened since. Among those in attendance was Yvonne Bernstein who was one of the two survivors she had photographed earlier in the month.

The Duchess of Cornwall attended a commemorative ceremony in Poland. Photo: SEAN GALLUP/GETTY

Whilst the Duke and Duchess were attending services in London, the Duchess of Cornwall was present for the Auschwitz 75 commemorations in Poland. Camilla was joined by representatives from different countries and survivors as they walked through the site of the former death camp.

Candles were lit at the international monument to pay tribute to all victims of the Holocaust and over 200 survivors from all over the world joined in the ceremony. Other royals present for the ceremony included King Phillipe & Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, King Wilhelm-Alexander & Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, King Felipe & Queen Letizia of Spain, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. xx

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