HELLO! can exclusively reveal that 300 services veterans setting sail on a historic voyage across the English Channel to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day will be joined by a special surprise guest – superstar Sir Rod Stewart. The pop legend will serenade the Second World War heroes with his classic hit Sailing and his performance on board the cruise ship MV Boudicca will be photographed exclusively for HELLO! by Lady Stewart.
In a video message on the morning of his performance, Sir Rod, who was born seven months before the end of the war, told us: "I have to tell you I'm truly delighted to be coming down to Dover today to send our wonderful, brave soldiers off to the beaches of Normandy. Our heroes! It's going to be a great day."
Rod Stewart will be giving a special performance on Sunday
Penny, who also photographed the 70th anniversary of D-Day for HELLO!, added in the video message: "I too have the great pleasure of being a part of this remarkable event in capturing these true heroes for HELLO! magazine as I did five years ago for the seventieth anniversary. Good luck!"
The star will be on board the MV Boudicca cruise ship
The couple will be reunited with veteran Harold Bradley, whom they invited to tea at their home– a bolthole for Sir Winston Churchill during the war – in 2014. Harold, who is 96, and the other vets will have the heroic treatment they deserve on board Boudicca for seven days, with Sir Rod's performance the perfect welcome after they are bussed in from all over the country to take part in the 75th anniversary commemorations. HELLO! has been working closely with the Royal British Legion and Lady Stewart to make the memorable occasion possible.
Other highlights for the veterans will include seeing the Queen and US President Donald Trump and taking part in a ceremony on 6 June in Bayeux to mark 75 years to the day after they took part in the biggest seaborne invasion in history, liberating Western Europe from Nazi rule.
Thomas Whitaker, editor of HELLO!, said: "HELLO! is delighted to play a small part in this magnificent historic occasion. These veterans are the heroes of our time and the world could easily have been a completely different place without them. We salute all that they have done."
See all the exciting footage of Sir Rod and Lady Stewart later today only on hellomagazine.com.