Prince Harry to visit Italy

Prince to mark 70th anniversary of Battle of Monte Cassino

British royal Prince Harry will visit Italy on 18 May to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino during world war two.

Prince Harry's arrival in Italy will come six weeks after the visit of his grandparents, Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, on 3 April. The prince will reportedly take part in ceremonies at the Benedictine abbey, where St Benedict founded his first monastery in 529.

The four battles for Monte Cassino, which involved some of the heaviest fighting of world war two, took place between January and May 1944. The Allied forces fighting in the battles comprised troops from the UK, Poland, Canada, France, India, New Zealand and the US.

Located about 130 km south of Rome, the abbey was bombed to rubble by Allied aircraft to clear the heavy German defence of the road to Rome. Both sides suffered tens of thousands of casualties.

The abbey was rebuilt after the war.

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