Historian Antony Beevor, a renowned chronicler of World War II, said Elizabeth and Philip want to show their solidarity with the dwindling number of living veterans, including those still strong enough to attend the events next week.
"I think it will mean a huge amount to the veterans," Beevor said. "To have the queen there makes all the difference. The veterans' loyalty is very deep and their admiration is very deep. The queen and Philip are both well aware that this is the last time a reasonable number of veterans will be able to attend. So it's very important to both of them."