Although celebrations for the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe have had to be scaled back because of the Coronavirus outbreak there are still a number of ‘Stay at Home’ events happening enabling the nation to commemorate this historic occasion. It was announced on Thursday that Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall would lead the nation in a two minute silence at 11am.
But just what else is going on? Royal Circular has the full VE Day 75 schedule for you…
- 10:50am – Wreath laying at Westminster – Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle will lay a wreath on behalf of the House of Commons while Lord West will lay a wreath on behalf of the House of Lords.
- 11:00am – Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall will lead the nation in an act of remembrance. People are being encouraged to stand on their front doorsteps for a two minute silence to pay tribute to heroes of past and present. The silence will be broadcast on BBC One.
- 11:15am – The Royal British Legion’s livestream will begin featuring stories of those who served.
- 2:45 – 3:45pm – The first of BBC One’s special programmes begin. It will include the Announcement of Victory.
- 3:00pm – The BBC programme will show Winston Churchill’s announcement of the end of war in Europe at the exact time it was played in 1945. It is also reported that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will also pay homage to that magnificent speech. Personal testimonies from public figures and celebrities will also be read recalling the VE celebrations. The nation will be encouraged to raise a glass and toast “Those who gave so much, we thank you.”
- 3.00pm – Royal Navy warships and support vessels for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary at home and across the globe will blast their sirens for one minute at the exact time of Winston Churchill’s victory announcement.
- 8:00 – 8:30pm – ITV will broadcast Captain Tom’s War where he will share his memories of action in Burma and the brutal campaign that saw a million Allied troops attempt to repel the Japanese invading forces.
- 8:00pm – On BBC, The People’s War will be broadcast with Sophie Raworth and in partnership with The Royal British Legion. Stars including Katherine Jenkins and Beverley Knight will perform well known 40’s songs including When the Lights Go On Again and Bluebirds Over the White Cliffs of Dover. Throughout the show there will be VE Day memories, photographs and FaceTime interviews.
- 9:00pm – Her Majesty The Queen will address the nation from Windsor Castle. The Queen’s speech will be broadcast at exactly the same time as her father, King George VI, made his victory speech from Buckingham Palace in 1945.
- 9:10pm – The nation is encouraged to join in the singing of Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ from their doorsteps, front and back gardens and windows as an act of jubilation and commemoration.
- 9:30pm – Spotlights will illuminate the sky above Portsmouth as the lights conjure up the blackout experiences throughout the war. Searchlights on naval ships, in the harbour and at sea, will be directed towards the sky for five minutes.
Throughout the day, the nation are encouraged to host their own ‘Stay at Home Street Parties’ in their front garden or back garden. Various members of The Royal Family, the Prime Minister and politicians will hold video calls with wartime veterans.
It might not be the celebrations we were expecting but lets not let our wartime generation down, come on Britain – lets do what we do best!