VE Day: Queen to attend events marking 70th anniversary

Queen Elizabeth II Image copyright PA

The Queen will attend a service at Westminster Abbey next month, commemorating the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day.

The anniversary on 8 May marks 70 years since the end of World War II in Europe.

The service will be held on 10 May, the last of three days of events.

There will also be a two-minute silence at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, and the lighting of more than 100 beacons around the country.

The silence, to be held at 15:00 BST on Friday 8 May, will mark the moment Prime Minister Winston Churchill broadcast his speech to formally announce victory over Germany.

It will be followed by the lighting of the beacons, which will stretch from Newcastle to Cornwall.

The Queen famously joined in with the street celebrations in London on 8 May 1945, which took place three months before the war against Japan ended on 15 August.

On 9 May cathedral bells will be rung across the country at 11:00 BST.

A 1940s-themed concert will be held on Horse Guards Parade in London in the evening, to be shown on the BBC.

The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will be joined at the Sunday service by veterans and their families.

WWII flypast

Also at Westminster Abbey will be politicians, members of the Armed Forces and representatives of Allied nations and Commonwealth countries that fought alongside Britain.

A parade of bands, veterans and current servicemen and women will then make their way from the Abbey along Whitehall.

There will be a reception in St James's Park for 2,000 veterans, hosted by the Royal British Legion.

Also on the Sunday afternoon there will be a fly-past of current and historic aircraft from the RAF.

These will include Hurricane, Spitfire and Lancaster bomber planes from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, while vehicles dating from the 1940s will also be on display in St James's Park.

William Hague, First Secretary of State, speaking last month when he announced the celebrations, said they would pay "fitting tribute" to those who defended the country and helped ensure victory in Europe.

"It is right that we take time to reflect on the sacrifices made, not just by those in the Armed Forces, but by civilians such as Land Girls and those in Reserved Occupations and make sure that the whole country has the chance to take part in commemorating this momentous anniversary and remembering those who gave so much for our freedom," he said.

More on this story

Around the BBC