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Britain's Queen Marks Liberation Celebration on Channel Islands

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh attended celebrations on Monday to mark the liberation of the country's Channel Islands from Nazi occupation 60 years ago.

"May I express the hope that the freedom which you are celebrating today continues to inspire you in the years ahead," said the Queen.

The Royal couple met Second World War veterans, including islanders who lived through the German occupation during the war. They also attended a Liberation Day service before unveiling a commemorative stone.

On Monday night, the couple will be guests of honor at a son etlumiere fireworks display in the capital, St Helier.

The islands located off the French coast were the only British territory snatched by the Nazi from 1940 to 1945 when German currency was circulated, curfews imposed and ID cards issued. During the five years, the small number of Jewish population were deported to Nazi concentration camps where some died. Other islanders were transported to Germany.

The islands were bypassed on D-Day in June, 1944, and left in German hands until victory in Europe almost a year later.

The royal couple's visit comes after Prince Charles led VE day commemorations in Britain, laying a wreath at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.

Prince Andrew has also been marking VE day by joining British veterans who braved U-boat infested waters to deliver vital supplies to Russia.

(Xinhua News Agency May 10, 2005)

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