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British Queen to visit Belgium
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08:35, July 11, 2007

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Queen Elizabeth II of Britain and her husband will pay an official visit to Belgium on Thursday during which the royal couple will attend ceremonies to mark the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele in the World War I.

The British monarch will be accompanied by Belgian Prince Philip and Princess Mathilde when she visits pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals at Waver on Thursday morning. They will discuss health in developing countries, women's health and the flu virus.

In the afternoon the queen and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh will visit the Menenpoort in Ieper, which bears the names of the British soldiers who died in the area during World War I.

They will attend a ceremony at the military cemetery of Tyne Cot in Passendaele to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the battle at Passendaele.

The 1917 battle was one of the major battles of World War I. In the battle British troops, Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, Canadian and South African units fought the German army for the control of the village of Passchendaele, now called Passendaele, in West Flanders, Belgium.

After three months of fierce fighting, the village of Passchendaele was eventually taken by the Canadian Corps. The Allied Powers sustained almost half a million casualties and the Germans just over a quarter of a million.

Source: Xinhua



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