World heads of state are joining hundreds of veterans in Normandy to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
They will meet at Ouistreham, one of the five beaches where Allied troops landed on June 6, 1944.
French President Francois Hollande will give a speech followed by US President Barack Obama. Queen Elizabeth II and Russian President Vladimir Putin will also go.
There will be a re-enactment of the landings, which were the start of the invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe.
The day’s commemorations began at midnight with a vigil at Pegasus Bridge near Ouistreham, marking the first assault of the D-Day invasion when British soldiers began the first Allied action of the campaign.
At 00:16 on June 6, 1944, six Horsa gliders carrying 181 men from the Glider Pilot Regiment and the 2nd Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, landed silently to capture the strategically-vital bridge and another nearby.
This paved the way for soldiers landing on the Normandy beaches to move inland and reinforce their airborne colleagues. It also prevented the Germans from repelling the invasion on the coast.
Vladimir Putin will be at the ceremony with Prince Charles, who reportedly criticised the Russian president while speaking to a woman during a tour in Canada.
Ukraine’s President-elect Petro Poroshenko is expected to attend, amid tensions between his country and Russia.
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