Friday, May 8 was VE Day, marking the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. To celebrate this, Queen Elizabeth spoke out to offer a powerful message of hope to the world.
People Magazine reported that the Queen gave an address at 9pm on Friday, the exact same time her father King George VI gave a radio message at the end of World War II back in 1945. The address opened with footage of King George VI giving his address 75 years ago before cutting to the Queen, who had a photo of her father on her desk.
“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,” said the Queen, 94. “Never give up, never despair — that was the message of VE Day.”
“Never give up, never despair – that was the message of VE Day”
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 8, 2020
The Queen went on to say that this year’s VE Day feels different because of the coronavirus pandemic that has swept the globe.
“Today it may seem hard that we cannot mark this special anniversary as we would wish,” she said. “Instead, we remember from our homes and our doorsteps. But our streets are not empty; they are filled with the love and the care that we have for each other.”
“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 recognize and admire,” the Queen added.
The Queen’s son Prince Charles participated in the broadcast as well, reading an extract from his grandfather’s diary from that day in 1945. He also led a moment of silence for the nation along with his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, who was able to include a handwritten note from her father.
“In memory of my darling father and all the officers and men of the XII Lancers, who fought so bravely to give us peace,” the note read. Camilla’s father Bruce Shand had served in France as part of the British Expeditionary Force during the war.
This address was the third speech the Queen has given since she began isolating at Windsor Castle amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.