Royal Family on VE Day, 1945

Today marks the 75th Anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day which celebrated the end of the Second World War in Europe, and to mark this special Anniversary, we are taking a look at how the Royal Family marked VE Day on this day in 1945. While the celebrations to mark the 75th Anniversary have been officially delayed for August, the Queen will give a Speech from Windsor Castle later today.

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After the Official Peace Declaration was announced by Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the afternoon, the Royal Family come out on the balcony of Buckingham Palace (which had been bombed during the War). The King and Queen and the two Princesses were later joined by the Prime Minister as well on one of their multiple appearences on the Balcony throughout the day.

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In the evening, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, among a group of 16 members of the Royal Household, went out into the streets of London to celebrate with the crowds. The Queen described recalled her memories of that day in a 1985 interview to former BBC royal correspondent Godfrey Talbot, saying:

I think we went on the balcony nearly every hour, six times, and then when the excitement of the floodlights being switched on got through to us, my sister and I realised we couldn’t see what the crowds were enjoying.  My mother had put her tiara (either the Oriental Circlet Tiara or Queen Mary’s Fringe Tiara) on for the occasion, so we asked if we could go out and see for ourselves. I remember we were terrified of being recognised , so I pulled my uniform cap well down over my eyes. A Grenadier officer among our party of about 16 people said he refused to be seen in the company of another officer improperly dressed, so I had to put my cap on normally. We cheered the King and Queen on the balcony and then walked miles through the streets. 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.”

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On May 14th, the Royal Family presided over a Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral, which was also attended by Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of The Netherlands among many other Royals who had been in exile in London during the War.


One thought on “Royal Family on VE Day, 1945

  1. What a momentous occasion! I’m so glad that the Queen and her sister were able to go outside the palace, mingle with everyone, and have a jolly good time just like everyone else. She has lived her whole life in a gilded cage and that probably the only time she was able to be just a girl.

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