The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined VE Day celebrations at an East Sussex care home by video link as they chatted to Second World War veterans. Champagne was flowing as Prince William and Kate listened to the residents as they reminisced about the day the war ended in Europe on 8 May 1945.
WATCH: William and Kate join VE Day celebrations with war veterans
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The royal couple had the honour of speaking with Charles Ward, the oldest resident at Mais House, a Royal British Legion care home in Bexhill-on-Sea. Charles, aged 101, told the Cambridges about working on "secret messages" from then Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill.
The veteran, from South Kirby in Yorkshire, later described the correspondence he received from the wartime leader, saying: "The message came from Churchill, I had to decipher it, re-encipher it and send it to his son in Yugoslavia to say, 'Happy Birthday'. And then there was another one from the son to Churchill himself to say congratulations on your speech in Parliament. When I told William and Kate that story, they giggled."
William and Kate spoke to Charles Ward and Jean Hull
The Duchess spoke about her paternal grandmother Valerie Glassborow's role at the code-breaking centre, Bletchley Park, which Kate visited last May. She said: "It's so sad that she's not here today, as I would love to speak to her more about it."
The royal mum also revealed during the video call that her eldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, had been asked by their teachers at Thomas's school in Battersea, to learn Dame Vera Lynn's famous wartime anthem.
She said: "The school has set all the children a challenge and they're currently trying to learn the lyrics to the song We'll Meet Again... so it's been really lovely having that playing every day." Kate added that George, six, is starting to learn about the Second World War in his history lessons.
William praised the efforts of the wartime generation, and told them: "Because we can't be together, everyone's still thinking of you all today, and are very proud of everything you've all achieved."
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The residents began VE Day with a religious service performed by a minister on a balcony, to maintain lockdown rules, before they were entertained by a comedian and historian - in character as Churchill - and enjoyed a lunch washed down with more champagne. Mais House went into lockdown before the government issued social distancing rulings, has remained virus free and has been receiving supplies of personal protection equipment for staff, said Sue Barnes, the registered home manager.
When the royal couple asked what they would do when the Covid-19 outbreak was over, the group said they would hold VC Day - "Victory over Coronavirus".
The Cambridges joined other members of the royal family during the special national celebrations, with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall leading a moment of remembrance from their Scottish home, Birkhall, on Friday morning. The Queen addressed the nation on Friday at 9pm during a a special broadcast recorded in the White Drawing room at Windsor Castle. The 94-year-old monarch's speech was followed by a national singalong of Dame Vera Lynn's We'll Meet Again.
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