The French government has actually been planning to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Normandy landing as a Franco- American affair, forgetting that three of the five beaches invaded were taken by British and Canadian forces who actually made up more than half of the invading force. In the liberation of France, 17,556 British servicemen and 5,316 Canadians lost their lives.
But such is the venality of the political class that President Sarkozy saw it as an opportunity to co-star with President Obama. And only when the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown realized the American President was coming did he also decide to go. He had hitherto failed to ensure that Britain was represented and that an invitation went to The Queen.
With only a few days notice the French government have now said The Queen is welcome. How insulting not only to The Queen but to the Commonwealth.
Her Majesty is after all the only surviving head of state who actually served in uniform. And it was Britain and the Commonwealth who fought on , prevailing in the Battle of Britain while the US was still neutral, France occupied and the USSR an ally of the Nazis.
According to the Daily Mail (28/5) the average age of D-Day veterans is now nearing 85, so the 65th anniversary will mark the last major gathering of British survivors of the battle to liberate France. British veterans told the Daily Mail they would be thrilled if the Queen or another senior member of the Royal Family could be there to support what is being billed as their 'last march' to the battlefields where so many thousands lost their lives.
With an impossible few days notice the French government now says The Queen is welcome.
William Feller, 83, from Hull, told the Daily Mail: 'To me, the Queen should be there. She is our sovereign, our head of state and she has attended the other anniversaries. We would all much prefer the Queen to be there rather than Gordon Brown.'
And some people are campaigning to create a politicans' republic, where the venal will occupy every position in the state.