Queen says ‘streets are filled with love’ in VE Day message during lockdown | UK News

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The Queen has defiantly insisted that the United Kingdom remains “a nation those brave soldiers, sailors and airmen would recognise and admire”.

Alluding to the coronavirus pandemic and how many national events planned for the day had to be cancelled due to social distancing, Her Majesty said: “Today it may seem hard that we cannot mark this special anniversary as we would wish.

“Instead we remember from our homes and our doorsteps.

Red arrows over London
Watch the highlights of VE Day celebrations

“But our streets are not empty; they are filled with the love and the care that we have for each other.

“And when I look at our country today, and see what we are willing to do to protect and support one another, I say with pride that we are still a nation those brave soldiers, sailors and airmen would recognise and admire.”

The message was played at 9pm – the same time that her father King George VI addressed the nation with a broadcast 75 years ago, marking Victory in Europe Day.

A clip of her father’s message was shown as part of his daughter’s own tribute.

RAF flypast
Cockpit view of VE Day Red Arrows flypast

In her televised address the Queen recalled her own memories of being alongside her parents that day, saying: “I vividly remember the jubilant scenes my sister and I witnessed with our parents and Winston Churchill from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

“The sense of joy in the crowds who gathered outside and across the country was profound, though while we celebrated the victory in Europe, we knew there would be further sacrifice. It was not until August that fighting in the Far East ceased and the war finally ended.”

Princess Elizabeth was 'insistent' on joining. Pic: National Army Museum
What VE Day was like for the queen (then known as Princess Elizabeth)

Recalling the famous line “we will remember them” from Laurence Binyon’s First World War poem “For the Fallen”, the Queen paid tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

She said: “Many people laid down their lives in that terrible conflict.

“They fought so we could live in peace, at home and abroad.

“They died so we could live as free people in a world of free nations.

“They risked all so our families and neighbourhoods could be safe. We should and will remember them.”

Winston Churchill VE Day
Watch Winston Churchill’s VE Day speech
Singalong pic
Nation marks VE Day anniversary with singalong

She added: “The wartime generation knew that the best way to honour those who did not come back from the war, was to ensure that it didn’t happen again.

“The greatest tribute to their sacrifice is that countries who were once sworn enemies are now friends, working side by side for the peace, health and prosperity of us all.”

The 94-year-old monarch recorded her message at Windsor Castle last week, where she is in isolation with her husband Prince Philip due to the pandemic.

On the table alongside her were photos of her father, and the family on the balcony with Sir Winston Churchill in 1945. The cap she wore as a member of the Auxiliary Territorial service was also on the desk, highlighting her own service during the Second World War. She was the first female member of the royal family to join the armed forces as a full-time active member.

File photo dated 08/05/45 showing huge crowds at Trafalgar Square, London, celebrating VE (Victory in Europe) Day in London, marking the end of the Second World War in Europe, 75 years ago.
Voices of VE Day: 75 years on
Princess Elizabeth joined the Auxiliary Territorial service. Pic: National Army Museum
Image: Princess Elizabeth joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service. Pic: National Army Museum

This is the second televised address that the Queen has recorded since lockdown measures were introduced due to COVID-19.

In this message she again appeared to evoke the wartime spirit to encourage people across the country to once again support each other at this difficult time, listen to the guidance, and do what is right.

Talking about the war, the Queen said: “At the start, the outlook seemed bleak, the end distant, the outcome uncertain.

“But we kept faith that the cause was right – and this belief, as my father noted in his broadcast, carried us through.

“Never give up, never despair – that was the message of VE Day.”

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