Home News 80th Belgian Cenotaph Parade
80th Belgian Cenotaph Parade
Date:15 July 2014
© BE Defense/Malèk AZOUG
On 12th July, the annual Belgian Parade at the Cenotaph in Whitehall took place. On this occasion, HRH Prince Laurent, representing the Belgian King, laid a wreath at the monument. The ceremony was also attended by the Belgian Defence Minister and the UK vice-Minister of Defence, various British and Belgian civil and military authorities and veterans as well as detachments from military education establishments.
The ceremony at the Cenotaph was followed by a military parade at Horse Guards Parade and a reception offered by the Belgian Ministry for Defence at Wellington Barracks. In the afternoon, guests were invited to a luncheon by Ambassador Trouveroy at his Residence.
Eighty years ago, Belgium’s King Albert I died as a result of a climbing accident. Touched by the death of his nephew and in recognition of the heroism and sacrifice of the Belgian Army in the First World War, King George V of Great Britain decided to bestow a unique honour on the Belgians never awarded to any other non-Commonwealth nation: a yearly parade at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, the monument for the dead in London built in 1920 at the request of the then prime minister Lloyd George. Belgium is the only nation that is allowed to parade its troops in uniform and carrying arms in central London.
The Belgian Parade in London has taken place yearly since 1934 on the Sunday preceding the Belgian National Day. It is a strong symbol of the fraternity between the British and the Belgian soldiers during and after both World Wars and it confirms the close ties that unite both countries.