By Dory Jackson January 27, 2020
Giving back! Prince William and Duchess Kate stepped out together on Monday, January 27, to attend an event honoring Holocaust survivors.
William, 37, and Kate, 38, attended the U.K. Holocaust Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony in Westminster, England. The event, which marked its 75th anniversary on Monday, honors the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
“During the ceremony, The Duke read an extract from a letter written about his great-grandmother, Princess Alice, which described how she helped hide her Jewish friends, the Cohens, in her home,” Kensington Palace revealed in an Instagram post on Monday. “During the service, 75 candles of remembrance were lit to represent the 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust. After the ceremony, the duke and duchess spoke to Holocaust survivors, and survivors of genocides which have happened since.”
Ahead of Monday’s commemoration, Kate met with Holocaust survivors Steven Frank and Yvonne Bernstein. The Duchess of Cambridge took photos of the survivors with their families, which were released on Sunday, January 26, before Monday’s event. Her photos will be featured in a special exhibition later this year.
“I wanted to make the portraits deeply personal to Yvonne and Steven — a celebration of family and the life that they have built since they both arrived in Britain in the 1940s,” a statement from Kate posted to Kensington Palace’s Instagram. “The families brought items of personal significance with them which are included in the photographs. It was a true honour to have been asked to participate in this project.”
Kate continued, “I hope in some way Yvonne and Steven’s memories will be kept alive as they pass the baton to the next generation.”
William and Kate’s Holocaust memorial appearance came not long after the royal couple attended their first joint engagement of 2020. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Bradford, England, to meet with various groups and local organizations. Their appearance occurred in the wake of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s “step back” announcement from January 8, during which the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stated that they would “become financially independent.”