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The Queen sends special televised message to mark 75th anniversary of VE Day

VE Day: Queen Elizabeth II delivers message to commemorate the end of World War Two in Europe
WATCH: Britain's Queen Elizabeth honours those who died in World War II on VE Day anniversary

The Royal Family rang in the 75th anniversary of VE Day with a special message, video calls and more to honour veterans of war.

Though parts of the commemoration were altered due to the coronavirus outbreak, the festivities went on with a personal address from the Queen Friday evening.

The monarch followed in her father’s footsteps, addressing her people exactly 75 years after her father did the day World War Two in Europe came to an end.

“I speak to you today at the same hour as my father did, exactly 75 years ago,” she began.

READ MORE: Queen Elizabeth II celebrates birthday in private for first time due to coronavirus

“They fought so we could live in peace, at home and abroad … They died so we could live as free people in a world of free nations. They risked all so our families and neighbourhoods could be safe,” the Queen continued.

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“We should and will remember them.”

“I vividly remember the jubilant scenes my sister and I witnessed with our parents and Winston Churchill from the balcony of Buckingham Palace. The sense of joy in the crowds who gathered outside and across the country was profound, though while we celebrated the victory in Europe, we knew there would be further sacrifice.”

READ MORE: Queen Elizabeth II posts message about coronavirus: ‘My family and I stand ready to play our part’

She continued: “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 recognize and admire.”

“I send my warmest good wishes to you all,” she ended with.

This date carries great significance for the family, as it marks the day King George VI made one of the most significant speeches of his time on the throne.

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“At this hour, when the dreadful shadow of war has passed far from our hearths and homes in these islands, we may at last make one pause for thanksgiving and then turn our thoughts to the tasks all over the world which peace in Europe brings with it,” he said that year.

The Queen’s broadcast aired at the exact time her father made his speech all those years ago. She was 19 years old at the time.

In this May 8, 1945 file photo Britain’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill, center, joins the royal family, from left, Princess Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth, King George VI, and Princess Margaret, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, London, England, on VE Day. Nazi commanders signed their surrender to Allied forces in a French schoolhouse 75 years ago this week, ending World War II in Europe and the Holocaust. Unlike the mass street celebrations that greeted this momentous news in 1945, surviving veterans are marking V-E Day this year in virus confinement, sharing memories with loved ones, instead of in the company of comrades on public parade.
In this May 8, 1945 file photo Britain’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill, center, joins the royal family, from left, Princess Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth, King George VI, and Princess Margaret, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, London, England, on VE Day. Nazi commanders signed their surrender to Allied forces in a French schoolhouse 75 years ago this week, ending World War II in Europe and the Holocaust. Unlike the mass street celebrations that greeted this momentous news in 1945, surviving veterans are marking V-E Day this year in virus confinement, sharing memories with loved ones, instead of in the company of comrades on public parade. File/AP

The Prince of Wales read an extract from King George VI’s diary, from May 8, 1945.

Other members of the royal family, as well as the Prime Minister and the Culture Secretary, took part in video calls with World War Two veterans.

Queen Elizabeth II’s message is part of a bigger musical broadcast, The People’s Celebration.

The last time Her Majesty made a public broadcast was in relation to the current virus pandemic.

“Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it,” the 93-year-old said in the address from her Windsor Castle home.

“While we have faced challenges before, this one is different. This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavor, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal. We will succeed – and that success will belong to every one of us.”

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meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca