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Coronavirus: Queen praises country in VE Day address to nation

PUBLISHED: 21:53 08 May 2020 | UPDATED: 21:53 08 May 2020

Queen Elizabeth II, during a visit to Kings Lynn Town Hall in Norfolk. PA Photo/Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Queen Elizabeth II, during a visit to Kings Lynn Town Hall in Norfolk. PA Photo/Chris Radburn/PA Wire

The Queen has praised the country’s response to the coronavirus outbreak in a moving message to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

She insisted the nation’s empty streets had been filled with “love and care” in the wake of Covid-19 as she remembered Britain’s Second World War sacrifices and the “joyous celebrations” that followed the end of fighting in Europe.

In a televised address to the nation she paid tribute to the tireless efforts of NHS staff, care and key workers, and communities helping the vulnerable who all reflected a nation “those brave soldiers, sailors and airmen would recognise and admire”.

She highlighted the message of VE (Victory in Europe) Day that resonates with the country’s plight today - “Never give up, never despair”.

The address came at the end of national celebrations, curtailed due to the lockdown, marking 75 years to the day Britain and its Allies formally accepted Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender, following almost six years of brutal warfare.

Speaking from Windsor Castle’s white drawing room, the Queen said in her pre-recorded message: “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.

“The greatest tribute to their sacrifice is that countries who were once sworn enemies are now friends, working side by side for the peace, health and prosperity of us all.

“Today it may seem hard that we cannot mark this special anniversary as we would wish. Instead we remember from our homes and our doorsteps.

“But our streets are not empty; they are filled with the love and the care that we have for each other.

“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.”

The Queen’s words were her second televised address during the coronavirus outbreak and followed her speech to the country on April 5, when she delivered a message of hope, saying if we remained resolute in the face of the outbreak “we will overcome it”.


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