Queen Elizabeth II honored those who sacrificed their lives in World War II on May 8, the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, and used the occasion to say she was proud of how people had responded to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking on the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the Queen remembered her own experiences of the end of fighting on the continent and praised the "strength and courage" of British and Allied troops who brought about Germany's surrender on May 8, 1945.
In a special broadcast, on a unique day of remembrance, reflection and celebration taking place during the coronavirus
lockdown, she said: “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 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.”
"Never give up, never despair -- that was the message of VE Day," the monarch said. "I vividly remember the jubilant scenes my sister and I witnessed with our parents and Winston Churchill from the balcony of Buckingham Palace."
Acknowledging the impact on modern British life of the coronavirus
pandemic, which has forced this year's public commemorations to be canceled, she also drew parallels between the UK's wartime generation and their modern compatriots.