Victory in Europe Day in 1945 and 75 Years Later  

The British Royal family acknowledge deafening cheers of massive crowds on VE Day in 1945


On May 8th 75 years ago, Nazi Germany surrendered unconditionally, which ended World War II in Europe.   After six years of devastating war, the British filled the streets in wild celebration for VE (Victory in Europe) Day.  Crowds surged in front of Buckingham Palace cheering the Royal Family.

Queen Elizabeth II, then Princess Elizabeth, stood with her father, King George VI as they with her mother and sister acknowledged the cheering crowds.  As head of the British Armed Forces, the King, as expected, wore a military uniform; however, Princess Elizabeth, as a member of the British armed forces, also wore a uniform.

On VE Day’s 75th Anniversary, celebrating crowds would have been expected in London, but COVID-19 restrictions dictated that there would be no cheering crowds.  The Royal Family will not appear on Buckingham Palace’s balcony, but Princess Elizabeth has reigned as Queen for 68 years.  So, at a time when few veterans of World War II survive, Elizabeth II is the world’s only head of state that served in the active military during that war, and Prince Philip, her husband of 72 years served in Britain’s Royal Navy. They have not just heard stories of the war, they lived them.

Princess Elizabeth serving as a driver and mechanic in the Auxiliary Territorial Service

Self-isolating in Winsor Castle, the Royal pair recognizes a war against COVID-19 that would have been unthinkable even a few months ago.  Queen Elizabeth, even at the advanced age of 94, has a sense of optimism for the future.  In a recent address about COVID-19, she quoted the lyric from a popular song of World War II, “We’ll Meet Again.”  Her feeling that we made it through World War II and we can make it through COVID-19.

We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day
Keep smiling through
Just like you always do
‘Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away

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