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The Queen's touching plans for 75th anniversary of VE Day revealed

The Queen was 19 when the Second World War ended

Danielle Stacey

The Queen will send a special message to the nation to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Friday 8 May. The broadcast will be poignant for the 94-year-old monarch for many reasons – it will be televised at 9pm on BBC One, the exact moment her father, King George VI, gave a radio address in 1945. The then Princess Elizabeth was 19 as the Second World War ended, having spent her early teenage years at Windsor Castle with her younger sister, Princess Margaret, for their own safety.

READ: Why the Queen and Princess Margaret were not evacuated during World War II

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Elizabeth with her parents and sister Margaret on VE Day in 1945

Her Majesty's address will be followed by a national singalong of Dame Vera Lynn's We'll Meet Again, where the public will be encouraged to open their doors and join in with the national moment of celebration. The monarch referenced the wartime song in her broadcast to the UK and the Commonwealth on the coronavirus crisis on 5 April, saying: "We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again."

MORE: The Queen shares video from inside her incredible garden at Buckingham Palace

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The Queen at a thanksgiving service for VE Day 70 in 2015

The Queen's address is included as part of the UK government's revised plans to commemorate the VE Day anniversary. A veteran procession was meant to take place, but the original plans had to be adjusted due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The Queen and her family were also expected to mark the occasion publicly as they did for the 70th anniversary of VE Day in 2015, with a fly-past and a thanksgiving service. Instead members of the royal family, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden will take part in a series of video calls with Second World War veterans and those who served on the home front.

The Prince of Wales will also read an extract from King George VI's diary from 8 May 1945 which describes the day, including the royal family's iconic Buckingham Palace balcony appearances.

Official commemorations will begin at 11am on 8 May with a national moment of remembrance and a two-minute silence. 

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