The Queen is to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (V.E.) Day next week with a televised address in the U.K.
The Queen’s rare address last month was seen by 24 million viewers, and ended with the words “we will meet again” — a reference to Dame Vera Lynn’s bolstering war anthem “We’ll Meet Again.”
The speech on May 8 will form part of a program of commemorations to mark the end of the Second World War after the original outdoor plans — such as street parties and parades — were canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak. Celebrations will instead take place in gardens, on doorsteps and in living rooms.
The BBC will broadcast special programs to mark the milestone occasion. Presented by Sophie Raworth, an evening program will feature Welsh soprano Katherine Jenkins, actor Adrian Lester and singer Beverley Knight, who will be performing some well-known songs from the 1930s and 40s.
It will culminate in the nation being invited to sing along to a rendition of “We’ll Meet Again.”
The BBC will also air a pre-recorded video message from Prince Charles, who will read an extract from his grandfather King George VI’s diary from V.E. Day.
Extracts of Sir Winston Churchill’s famous victory speech to the nation announcing the end of the war in Europe will also be broadcast.
Tony Hall, BBC director general, said: “At a time when many are looking for unity and hope, the BBC will bring households together to remember the past, pay tribute to the Second World War generation and honor our heroes both then and now.”
V.E. Day in 1945 marked the formal acceptance of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender by Britain and its Allies following almost six years of war. On that day, the Queen, who was then Princess Elizabeth, famously ventured out with a group of friends, including her sister Princess Margaret, to experience the excitement in London. The moment was captured in 2015 film “A Royal Night Out.”