"This is our time when we can, each in our own way, be the light that ensures the darkness can never return," Prince Charles said

By Erin Hill
January 26, 2021 05:01 PM
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales
Prince Charles
| Credit: RE:TV

In his role as Patron of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, Prince Charles has recorded a special message to open this year's virtual Holocaust Memorial Day event on Wednesday.

"As I speak, the last generation of living witnesses is tragically passing from this world, so the task of bearing witness falls to us," the prince, 72, said. "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.' "

"This is not a task for one time only; nor is it a task for one generation, or one person," he continued. "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."

On Wednesday, Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will join a national moment of lighting the darkness — a compilation video of survivors and people across the U.K. who have lit candles and placed them in their windows to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

The prince has been Patron of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust since 2015. Last year, he attended the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem, while Camilla attended commemorations in Poland to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Last year, Prince William and Kate Middleton also attended a memorial service held in London, where they met with survivors. During a conversation with survivor Mala Tribich, Kate shared that they have talked to their children about the Holocaust.

Kate also got behind the camera last year to take photos of Holocaust survivors. She invited two survivors to Kensington Palace so she could capture the striking images alongside their grandchildren.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend the UK Holocaust Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony in Westminster on January 27, 2020 in London, England
Prince William and Kate Middleton meet with Holocaust survivors in 2020
| Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty

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"The harrowing atrocities of the Holocaust, which were caused by the most unthinkable evil, will forever lay heavy in our hearts. Yet it is so often through the most unimaginable adversity that the most remarkable people flourish. Despite unbelievable trauma at the start of their lives, Yvonne Bernstein and Steven Frank are two of the most life-affirming people that I have had the privilege to meet," Kate said.