The Poignant Way Queen Elizabeth Will Mark the 75th Anniversary of the End of WWII in Europe

Queen Elizabeth will mirror her father's WWII radio message to the world when she gives an address at the same time — 9 p.m. — on May 8

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth. Photo: Buckingham Palace via Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth will lead Britain in its remembrance of the end of World War II in Europe by conjuring memories of her own father’s speech to the nation.

The monarch, 94, will make an address on May 8 at 9 p.m. — the same time her father King George VI gave a radio message at the end of the war in 1945.

It echoes her throwback phrase to the wartime spirit that she used in her inspiring address from Windsor Castle earlier this month, which she closed with, “We will meet again.” The song "We’ll Meet Again" was an anthem of the war, sung by Dame Vera Lynn.

The evening address will be followed by a national singalong of the song and the public is being encouraged to open their front doors and join in with this national moment of celebration, the U.K. government says.

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth. Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Prince Charles, 71, will also take part in a broadcast on May 8 as he reads an extract from the late King’s diary from that day. Other members of the royal family are also slated to take part in video calls to veterans of World War II, it has been announced.

The celebrations at the end of WWII brought one of the most memorable “nights of my life” the Queen has said. Having worked in the war effort in a reserve unit, the then 19-year-old royal wore her uniform that evening and headed out among the crowds around the palace with her sister Princess Margaret to join the party.

The Queen said in a recording released five years ago, “We cheered the King and Queen on the balcony and then walked miles through the street. I remember lines of unknown people linking arms and walking down Whitehall, all of us just swept along on a tide of happiness and relief.”

Britain was expected to hold a public holiday and celebrations of the anniversary, but all public commemorations have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Royals Easter photos
Queen Elizabeth. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

The address by the Queen on May 8 will be the third since she retired to Windsor Castle amid the crisis. She issued a statement when she relocated to Windsor, 30 miles west of London, with her husband Prince Philip, who turns 99 in June, and then made her rare televised address to the world on April 5. She also gave an Easter message.

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The U.K. government is also hoping that families will mark the day with commemorative tea parties and have come up with kits to inspire parents and children to create a celebration with VE Day (Victory in Europe Day) decor, original recipes from the day and games.

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