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Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla record special message to open Holocaust Memorial Day

The event is being held virtually amid COVID-19

Jenni McKnight

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have recorded a special message to open the 2021 virtual Holocaust Memorial Day event, taking place on Wednesday 27 January.

Charles has been Patron of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust since 2015, and last year he attended the World Holocaust Forum at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem.

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Camilla also attended commemorations in Poland last January to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

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This year will see the ceremony take place virtually amid COVID-19 and, to end it, Charles and Camilla have joined a national moment of lighting the darkness - a compilation video of survivors and people across the UK who have lit candles and placed them in their windows to mark the day.

"As I speak, the last generation of living witnesses is tragically passing from this world, so the task of bearing witness falls to us," Charles says in part of his pre-recorded message.

"That is why The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, of which I am so proud to be Patron, has this year chosen the theme – 'Be the Light in the Darkness.'

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Charles-Camilla

Charles and Camilla opened this year's virtual Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony

"This is not a task for one time only; nor is it a task for one generation, or one person. It is for all people, all generations, and all time. This is our time when we can, each in our own way, be the light that ensures the darkness can never return."

During Charles' speech at the World Holocaust Forum last year, he said: "The magnitude of the genocide that was visited upon the Jewish people defies comprehension and can make those of us who live in the shadow of those indescribable events feel hopelessly inadequate.

"The scale of the evil was so great, the impact so profound, that it threatens to obscure the countless individual human stories of tragedy, loss and suffering of which it was comprised. That is why places like this, and events like this, are so vitally important."

This year's ceremony will run from 7-8pm on 27 January and can be joined via the Holocaust Memorial Day website.

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