British Royal Family

Video calls and an unprecedented address to the nation: How the British royals made this year's VE Day one for the history books

The 75th anniversary was marked with a few royal firsts.

By Jess Pullar
Each year, the British royals mark VE Day not just with a bank holiday, but with some very special appearances to boot.
This year, things looked a little different for the regal family, as the country remains in a state of lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic - but much like the strong-willed folk Down Under did on ANZAC Day, the country found other, unique ways to celebrate within the confines of isolation.
And the British royals were right there with them.
In an historic move (and one that's been called upon as a measure only several times before), the Queen delivered a stirring televised address to the nation.
These kinds of appearances come very few and far between (bar the Monarch's annual Christmas message), with the Queen having marked only her 5th time sharing an address of this sort in early April as she spoke of the pandemic in a wartime-esque speech.
This made her speech on VE Day all the more special. Filmed in Windsor Castle it well and truly reflected her pride and patriotism for her country.
The Queen shared a stirring address to the nation to mark VE Day. (Buckingham Palace)
In the address, the Queen referenced how the lock down hasn't changed the country's sentiment.
"Our streets are not empty; they are filled with the love and the care that we have for each other."
She also spoke of the day itself, which marked 75 years since victory was celebrated across Europe after World War II.
"I speak to you today at the same hour as my father did, exactly 75 years ago. His message then was a salute to the men and women at home and abroad who had sacrificed so much in pursuit of what he rightly called a 'great deliverance'," she stated.
"At the start, the outlook seemed bleak, the end distant, the outcome uncertain. But we kept faith that the cause was right - and this belief, as my father noted in his broadcast, carried us through. Never give up, never despair - that was the message of VE Day. I vividly remember the jubilant scenes my sister and I witnessed with our parents and Winston Churchill from the balcony of Buckingham Palace."
The Queen's speech echoed her father's speech made 75 years ago. (Getty)
She continued to speak of how the country retained strength and courage through it all, with a common desire for something like this to never to be repeated.
"As I now reflect on my father's words and the joyous celebrations, which some of us experienced first-hand, I am thankful for the strength and courage that the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and all our allies displayed. The wartime generation knew that the best way to honour those who did not come back from the war, was to ensure that it didn't happen again."
She ended her address back on today's challenges the world is facing, but with an air of positivity.
"And when I look at our country today, and see what we are willing to do to protect and support one another, I say with pride that we are still a nation those brave soldiers, sailors and airmen would recognise and admire. I send my warmest good wishes to you all."

The Queen's stirring words clearly struck a chord with royal followers, many of whom took to social media to voice their thoughts.
"And that is how you give a great remembrance speech," wrote one fan on Instagram in the comments section of the Palace's official VE Day post.
"It has been an emotional watch all day. Proud to be British," wrote another.
One also mused: "Deepest admiration for the Queen and my respect to the British people as they mark this special anniversary in a very particular situation."
The Queen's close relatives also marked the day in their own special ways from isolation.
Earlier in the day Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla led a moment of remembrance on the day.
Charles also read an extract from King George VI's diary from the monumental day in 1945.

As for the Queen's grandson Prince William and wife Duchess Catherine, the pair shared a very special video call with their following, which marked a royal first for VE Day.
The pair has hopped aboard the Zoom call train just like the rest of us, and spoke to a number of veterans for a VE Day 'party', as explained on Instagram.
"On the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day, we pay tribute to the service of the entire #WW2 generation — from British, Commonwealth and Allied Forces to evacuees and those who served on the home front," the caption read next to the candid video of Kate and Wills interacting with the veterans.

read more from