25 OCTOBER 2007

Helping mark the 65th anniversary of a key World War II battle, must have been a poignant reminder for the Duchess of Cornwall of her late father, Major Bruce Shand.

Chatting to veterans of the El Alamein battle in Egypt, Camilla recounted how the parent she adored had been wounded and captured during the fighting. The Duchess shared the story over tea after a memorial service for the 7th Armoured Division in Thetford, Norfolk.

The royal, elegant in a teal coat and matching hat, had arrived for the gathering in a car which one belonged to Field Marshall Montgomery, the charismatic soldier who led the Allied forces to victory. She then laid a wreath of poppies before a replica of the Cromwell tank used on the African front.

Afterwards, a sergeant major who served with Camilla's father spoke warmly of her visit. "She was very pleased to see us all," said 89-year-old Len Burrit. "It was nice she came."

Photo: ©
After a memorial service for soldiers who fell in the African arena, the Duchess shared stories about her war hero dad over tea with the veteransPhoto: © Getty Images
Photo: ©
Camilla arrived for the event in a car once owned by Field Marshall MontgomeryPhoto: © Getty Images
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