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The Duke and Duchess Chat with Veterans for 75th Anniversary of VE Day

Today is the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe. To mark the Victory in Europe anniversary, the Duke and Duchess did a video call with veterans at the Royal British Legion’s Mais House Care Home.

A social media post about the anniversary this morning from Kensington Palace. The Palace released the video of the couple’s call this evening, noting “…we pay tribute to the service of the entire WW2 generation — from British, Commonwealth and Allied Forces to evacuees and those who served on the home front.”

More from The Telegraph’s coverage

They spoke to four veterans including 101-year-old Charles Ward, who served in the Special Operations Executive and passed on encrypted messages from Winston Churchill, as well as staff.

Explaining how he ended the war as a sergeant stationed in Greece, Mr Ward said:  “VE Day was very good – I had to go round and give all the men a drink of rum.”

“I bet you were the hero of the time there,” the Duke told him, laughing.

The Telegraph also reports Kate talked about her grandmother: “Speaking of her own grandmother, who served at Bletchley Park, she said: “It’s so sad that she’s not here today – I’d love to speak to her more about it.”

Readers may recall the visits the Duchess has made to Bletchley Park, the famous code-breaking facility. Here you see her speaking with veterans who worked at Bletchley Park during a visit last May.

Commemorations that were originally planned for the day included a Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey, a procession down the Mall, a flypast at Buckingham Palace featuring the Red Arrows and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and a tea party for veterans at St. James’s Park.  

Below, Piccadilly Circus on May 8, 1945.

The scene at Buckingham Palace (from left to right): Princess Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth, King George VI, Princess Margaret.

Princess Elizabeth is wearing her Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) uniform in the photo; she joined the service in 1945 when she was eighteen and trained as a driver and mechanic.

Obviously, today’s celebrations had to be scaled back. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall laid a wreath this morning. 

 Princess Anne, as well as the Earl and Countess of Wessex, also made calls to veterans.

The RAF’s Red Arrows did a flypast. 

There were many other events marking the occasion throughout the country and throughout Europe. And this evening at 9pm, the same time her father addressed the nation in 1945, a speech by HM was broadcast.

 You may have noted the photo The Queen had on her desk of her father. You could also see her cap from her ATS uniform.

In her story about Kate and William’s call, Rebecca English reports George and Charlotte are learning a special song from the era. 

More from the story

Kate revealed Prince George and Princess Charlotte have been asked by their teachers 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.’  

Now for our coverage of what Kate wore in the video. It very much looked like she had on the ‘Cayla’ dress by LK Bennett, first seen at Wimbledon in 2015.  

The midi-length dress is 100% polyester with a round neck, concealed back zipper, elbow-length sleeves, and princess seams that give it the fit and flare silhouette the Duchess likes.

Many thanks to Natasha for her early heads-up on the call and Kate’s dress! 

Kate brought back the Patrick Mavros Ocean Tides Milky Quartz Earrings with 18ct Gold in Silver ($1014) earrings first seen in a call released on the 3rd.

Here is a final thought about the day via Nigel Stevens of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 


Here is the full call, running just a bit less than 5 minutes. 

This is two minutes of The Queen speaking about what she did the night of VE Day, it is remarkable to listen to the story. 

 The Red Arrows performed a flyover. 

And for those fond of Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance, here is more of the Red Arrows. 

 This Royal British Legion tweet is a quick summary about VE Day. 

 This is a 2-hour+ Royal British Legion broadcast as events commemorating the day unfolded. 



  • The Telegraph’s story by Hannah Furness on the call is here; The Daily Mail’s story about the video call is here; The Mirror’s coverage is here; Stephanie Petit’s People piece is here; a Hello! story is here
  • The BBC story about the Queen’s address is here; Victoria Murphy’s Town and Country piece (including the full text) is here; The Daily Mail’s coverage of The Queen’s speech is here; Vanity Fair’s article on it is here 
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Monday 15th of June 2020

I am very late to this post but I can't resist commenting, because everything about this brought me so much joy. The veterans in the call are in remarkable shape and spirits and it was so lovely to hear their stories – how they can look back on such a difficult time and be able see humour in the darkness, it's incredible! I loved the quip about "VC Day" when the coronavirus pandemic is over.

I watched the Queen's speech but hadn't noticed the hat, how lovely that she still has it. And that clip from her BBC interview – just marvellous! It's fascinating to hear about the day from her perspective, to learn that she managed to sneak in to the crowds (can't imagine something similar being possible today), and the laugh she has when talking about the Dutch sailor is so infectious.


Monday 11th of May 2020

Such a sweet moment from the couple and i just love kate's dress.


Monday 11th of May 2020

I'm glad they did a video for VE day. I didn't see anything in Australia of W & K, so thank you for the chance to see it here Susan! But I did switch the television on in the middle of a programme showing groups of Brits clustering at dusk, with flags proudly displayed, singing so beautifully. For a second I thought it was more national spirit for Covid19, then the penny dropped. It was so lovely & sincere, I wished so much I could be there & be part of it! I imagine Kate would very much love hearing the children singing "We'll meet again"....I'm going to set my youngest the same challenge! How totally amazing it must be to be the Queen & to have been there: I know there was a rumour that she & PM slipped out & mingled anonymously with the crowd (as in the film) but wasn't sure if it was confirmed to have actually happened. Lovely touch in the hat & brooch. Nice photo of Camilla too: I like her hat...she does a nice line in feathered hats! W & K do look v relaxed. Maybe they've settled into lockdown, so to speak? I know I feel I'm finally finding my lockdown mojo (just as they ease restrictions here!) but it's taken me a long time. Kate looks fantastic always in red: nice to see a tailored block colour after the flouncy florals (sweet though they were). How these clever IDs are made, with so little to go on, I don't know. But I'm grateful for them, as the glimpses are just too tantalizing otherwise! Like many, I'm amazed how great Kate's hair looks in lock down. She is genetically blessed, for sure! I love this "middling" length: it suits her so well & I imagine is very versatile. Our hairdressers here have been allowed to stay open, & I must admit to seeing mine (she is only seeing v long standing clients in her huge loft, & allows 30 minutes to disinfect in between). But what a difference good hair makes to morale! I hope our wonderful hairdressers everywhere will soon be able to work their magic again!!


Monday 11th of May 2020

I admire the Queen so much. She is a truly remarkable woman and I'm so pleased she lived to see the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. I especially loved hearing her account of what she did that day. You could hear the joy in her voice even 30 years on, as if it were only yesterday. Truly the greatest generation - thank you to those who sacrificed their futures for ours. It makes this lockdown pale in comparison to the hardships people suffered during WWII and for many years afterwards. Thank you for the lovely post to remind us all.

Caroline A.

Sunday 10th of May 2020

In her broadcast, Her Majesty The Queen is wearing aquamarine and diamond clip brooches that were a gift from King George VI on her 18th birthday in 1944.

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