May 8 will mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, which is held annually to coincide with the end of World War II in Europe. The Queen plans to make a special address to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth on that date this year, which is very welcome news in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
The speech will be made at 9 p.m. BST and will be broadcast during a special BBC program that will begin an hour before. It will coincide with the exact time George VI, Her Majesty's late father, made a radio broadcast announcing the defeat of Nazi Germany, which officially surrendered to the Allies on May 8, 1945.
The late King called the day a moment of "great deliverance" after the long and difficult conflict, which he said had left the UK and Commonwealth "war-battered, but never for one moment daunted or dismayed."
The Queen intends to use the 75th anniversary of VE Day to rally her subjects as we all continue to do our best to defeat COVID-19. She will record the message from Windsor Castle, where she and Prince Philip have been staying since March 19.
Following her remarks, people are being encouraged to participate in a nationwide singalong to "We'll Meet Again" by Dame Vera Lynn from their windows, balconies and front porches. In her previous broadcast to the UK and Commonwealth, the Queen referenced the beloved song, saying while social distancing at this time is difficult for everyone, it isn't forever and we will see each other again.
Her Majesty The Queen addresses the UK and the Commonwealth in a special broadcast recorded at Windsor Castle. pic.twitter.com/HjO1uiV1Tm
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 5, 2020
Late former UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill's speech announcing the war had been won will also be read during the program.
Prince Charles also plans to honour George VI, who was his grandfather, by reading a diary entry the late monarch wrote on May 8, 1945.
The Royal Family had initially planned to stage a big service at Westminster Abbey to celebrate VE Day this year, but that's been cancelled due to COVID-19 and all commemorations will now be digital.
The Royal British Legion is encouraging people across the UK and Commonwealth to take two minutes of silence to remember the sacrifices made during the Second World War and those who have lost their lives fighting the coronavirus this year. The Legion also plans to host a livestream at 11:15 a.m. BST that will involve youth speaking to those who fought in World War II.