Published On: Fri, May 8th, 2020

VE Day two minutes’ silence: Charles and Camilla lead Britain in emotional tribute | UK | News


Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, led the nation’s silence from Balmoral Castle. The UK came together to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day, and remember those who fought and died in the Second World War, despite restrictions imposed due to coronavirus. Although large-scale public events are unable to go ahead, tributes were paid by politicians and members of the royal family, as well as through a host of other events.

The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall laid flowers following the silence.

Sky’s royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills said: “For the Duchess of Cornwall in particular, it is a time when she can remember her father who served during the second world war.

“Later on today on their social media sites they’re going to release some extracts that she is due to read, memoirs from her father after he served in North Africa where we lost two of closest comrades.

“He was then taken back to Germany as a prisoner of war.”

READ MORE: Historic moment Churchill announced END of WW2 – read speech in full 

Plans for extensive events to herald the anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, when allied forces accepted the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany, were scaled back in March after the Government banned social gatherings to curb the coronavirus.

That meant a procession by veterans through the capital and other events involving crowds were scrapped.

However, Royal Air Force jets still flew over the four capitals of the UK and Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivered a message to mark the occasion, a holiday in Britain, and speak to a veteran via a video call.

The Queen will give a televised message to her nation on Friday to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, as the coronavirus outbreak overshadows nationwide celebrations to commemorate the end of World War Two in Europe.

The 94-year-old queen’s address will be particularly symbolic, coming exactly 75 years after her father George VI gave a victory speech over the radio to the nation.

Elizabeth, a teenager when the war broke out, learned to drive military trucks and to be a mechanic while serving in the women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, and she was in Buckingham Palace when it was bombed in September 1940.

Since becoming queen 68 years ago, Elizabeth has rarely made broadcasts to the nation except for her annual Christmas Day message, but her VE Day speech will be the third such address since the coronavirus shut down much of Britain in March.

Last month, she invoked the spirit shown during World War Two, calling for the public to show the same resolve and echoing the words of the famous song “We’ll Meet Again” by Vera Lynn which became a symbol of hope for Britons during the conflict.

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At 8pm, Britons are encouraged to open their front doors and join in a nationwide singalong of Lynn’s song.

Before the lockdown, street parties were due to be held across the country, and people are now being encouraged to decorate their houses and throw a 1940s-themed afternoon tea in their own homes.

Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins will give a solo performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall, in what will be the first concert behind closed doors in its 150-year history.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “As we stay home to protect the NHS and save lives, I know the British people will mark this historic occasion in new ways to show our deepest gratitude and respect for those that gave so much to bring peace, freedom and prosperity to Europe.”



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