Here’s How You Can Watch Queen Elizabeth’s History-Making Speech Today

queen elizabeth ve day hero

NOTE: The queen's full speech is now available to view here.

Today, Queen Elizabeth will give a rare speech via the BBC, just as her father King George VI did three-quarters of a century ago on May 8, 1945, celebrating the Allies' formal acceptance of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender. The queen will address the nation at 9 p.m. BST time (4 p.m. EST/1 p.m. PST), the exact time her father gave his powerful speech 75 years earlier. Viewers can watch the address here or on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the U.K.

King George VI's poignant speech came after what he called "nearly six years of suffering and peril." He said, "At this hour, when the dreadful shadow of war has passed far from our hearths and homes in these islands, we may at last make one pause for thanksgiving and then turn our thoughts to the tasks all over the world which peace in Europe brings with it.”

Side note: Can we all take a moment to appreciate how rare this is? This will only be the sixth time ever that the Queen has made a public broadcast outside of her annual Christmas Day addresses. Her fifth time came recently on April 5 when she addressed the worldwide Covid-19 crisis, inspiring hope and thanking those on the frontlines. 

The queen gave the speech wearing a bright green dress from her current home at Windsor Castle, where she and Prince Philip are social distancing due to the U.K. lockdown for the coronavirus pandemic. 

“While we have faced challenges before, this one is different,” she said in that speech. “This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavor, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal. We will succeed—and that success will belong to every one of us.”

In her rallying address, the queen referenced the classic wartime song "We'll Meet Again" by singer Vera Lynn. After the queen's VE speech on May 8, the BBC's VE Day 75: The People’s Celebration will culminate with the people of the U.K. singing that song together.

The queen also gave a speech on Easter that was recorded and played with the image of a single candle flame and shared via social media.  

Prince Charles is also participating in the celebrations. The BBC will air a pre-recorded video message from the Prince of Wales, who will read an extract from his grandfather King George VI's diary from VE Day describing the day’s events, including the royal family’s Buckingham Palace balcony appearances.

Other events during the BBC special will include a two minute moment of silence for the fallen soldiers of WWII, and a broadcast of then Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill’s victory speech in the afternoon.

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