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D-Day portraits commissioned by Prince Charles to go on display

The paintings of D-Day veterans will form part of an exhibit called 'The Last Of The Tide'. Credit: Anthony Devlin / PA Wire/PA Images

A series of paintings to commemorate veterans who took part in the D-Day landings are set to go on display at the Queen's Gallery in Buckingham Palace - 71 years to the day Allied troops launched the invasion of mainland Europe on June 6, 1944.

The portraits, which show the former servicemen proudly wearing their medals, were commissioned by Prince Charles.

The Prince of Wales said the paintings captured the "spirit, resolve, warmth and humanity" of those who fought in the D-Day campaign.

Prince Charles said the paintings captured the 'spirit and resolve' of the D-Day veterans. Credit: Anthony Devlin / PA Wire/PA Images

Charles decided to commission the portraits after attending the 70th anniversary D-Day commemorations in Normandy last summer, to ensure an artistic record remained of those who fought during the campaign to liberate Europe from Hitler.

I am delighted to introduce this exhibition of portraits of veterans of the D-Day landings and very much hope that all who see it will share my belief that this wonderful collection of paintings captures the spirit, resolve, warmth and humanity of these remarkable men.

It seemed to me a tragedy that there were no portraits of D-Day veterans, hence this collection of remarkable old soldiers from the regiments of which my wife and I are Colonel or Colonel-in-Chief.

– Prince Charles
On June 6 1944, 71 years ago, allied troops landed in Normandy to liberate Europe from Hitler. Credit: Anthony Devlin / PA Wire/PA Images

Veteran Brian Stewart, who during D-Day was a captain with the 1st Battalion, Tyneside Scottish, was painted by artist Paul Benney who has painted portraits of Mick Jagger and the Queen.

I am immensely proud to have been chosen to represent my regiment, the Black Watch, of which the Prince's grandmother, The Queen Mother, was colonel-in-chief for so many years.

I remember the bravery and tenacity with which my anti-tank platoon used their six-pounder guns in Normandy at the battle of Rauray, when we destroyed at least 12 German tanks during a day-long battle.

It has been an honour to be involved in this project and to know that veterans from so many different regiments will have their portraits joining the Royal Collection.

– D-Day veteran Brian Stewart

'The Last of the Tide' exhibition, which has been put together by the Royal Drawing School in collaboration with the Royal Collection Trust, is free and runs from June 6-17.

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