Factbox-What you need to know about the D-Day 80th anniversary ceremonies

Headstones are pictured in the World War II Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at Colleville-sur-Mer

PARIS (Reuters) - Veterans are flying in, memories are stirring and officials are finalising preparations for the ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings, one of the turning points of World War Two.

Here is what you need to know about the events:


- With war raging on Europe's borders, this anniversary's D-Day events will have special resonance. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will be among the guests. Russia, which launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, touching off Europe's biggest armed conflict since World War Two, was not invited.

- The numbers of British, American, Canadian and French veterans still alive, most of them aged 100 or more, are dwindling fast. This could be one of the last major ceremonies on Normandy's windswept beaches and at its manicured war memorials to honour a significant number of survivors.


- Around 4,500 guests are expected, including about 200 veterans, mostly from the U.S., Britain, Canada and France. Among them will be 101-year old U.S. Army veteran Jake Larson.

- U.S. President Joe Biden will be there while on a June 5-9 state visit to France.

- Russia will not be represented. President Vladimir Putin was never on the guest list due to the invasion of Ukraine. But France had initially invited Russia's ambassador in recognition of his country's massive sacrifices during World War Two, before rescinding the invitation.

- Britain's King Charles, Queen Camilla and Prince William will be among the guests, along with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Canada's Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.


- For French President Emmanuel Macron, there will be three days of visits and speeches, from June 5-7. On the 5th, he will be in Brittany and Normandy, with visits that include the town of Saint-Lô, which was destroyed by Allied bombardments.

- Also on June 5, British army paratroopers will recreate a drop into the fields of Normandy, watched by three veterans. A British ceremony at the Bayeux War Cemetery will be attended by D-Day veterans and their families.

- The main focus will be June 6. Ceremonies will kick off at around 0830 GMT at the British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer, in the presence of King Charles. Canada will hold its own ceremony at 0900 GMT, attended by Prince William.

At around 1000 GMT, Biden will lead a U.S. ceremony in the presence of D-Day veterans. And at 1300 GMT, Macron will preside over an international ceremony at Omaha Beach, where U.S. forces suffered their greatest casualties in the assault against heavily fortified German defences.

At around 1600 GMT, world leaders are expected to gather in Caen for diplomatic talks.

- On June 7, Biden will deliver remarks at Pointe du Hoc, Normandy, about the importance of defending freedom and democracy.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau, Ingrid Melander, John Irish and Michael Holden; writing by Ingrid Melander; editing by Mark Heinrich, Gareth Jones and Andrew Heavens)