“Never give up, never despair,” Queen Elizabeth II said in a poignant VE Day address Friday night — marking the 75th anniversary of the World War II victory in Europe.
“Today it may seem hard that we cannot mark this special anniversary as we would wish,” the 94-year-old queen said in the televised address.
“Instead, we remember from our homes and our doorsteps. But our streets are not empty: they are filled with the love and care that we have for each other,” she said.
“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.”
The Queen’s words fell on a national holiday usually marked by parades and other celebrations, a day instead subdued by the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown.
The broadcast was pre-recorded at Windsor Castle, The Guardian reported — noting that the queen prominently displayed a photograph of her father, King George VI, and wore a pair of diamond brooches that he had given her for her 18th birthday.
She recalled the first VE Day, which “some of us experienced first hand.”
“I vividly remember the jubilant scenes my sister and I witnessed with our parents and Winston Churchill from the balcony of Buckingham Palace,” she said.
The address concluded with a rendition of the wartime classic “We’ll Meet Again” — with the public singing along from their doorsteps.