The Queen is to make a special televised address to mark 75th anniversary of VE Day
On 8 May 1945, the world rejoiced as the Second World War came to an end after six years of fighting, hardship and loss.
People took to the streets to celebrate VE Day, otherwise known as Victory in Europe Day, commemorating the day on which the allied forces announced the surrender of Nazi Germany.
In London, thousands of revellers flooded Trafalgar Square and the Mall leading up to Buckingham Palace where the King and Queen greeted them from the balcony.
Unbeknownst to the majority of the public, 19-year-old Princess Elizabeth and 14-year-old Princess Margaret were hidden in plain sight among the crowds, letting their hair down as they joined in with the jubilant festivities.
This year, Friday 8 May will mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
Queen Elizabeth II, who recently celebrated her 94th birthday, will make a special televised address to the nation, which will be broadcast on BBC One, aired on the radio and the royal family’s official social media channels.
The address will be aired at 9pm, the same time the Queen’s father, King George VI, announced victory in Europe on the radio in 1945 following “nearly six years of suffering and peril”.
How did Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret celebrate VE Day in 1945?
On VE Day 75 years ago, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony on six occasions throughout the day alongside their parents King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
However, the teenagers wished to also celebrate outside the Palace gates, which they did after the younger of the two proposed the idea.
After dinner, the princesses left the Palace to partake in the celebrations, with the permission of the King and Queen.
They were joined by a group of Guards officers who were friends with the young royals.
While the monarch may have felt worried about his daughters becoming immersed in the crowds, in a diary entry written on the day he expressed care for their limited social lives, stating: “Poor darlings, they have never had any fun yet.”
The princesses made the most of their freedom, doing the hokey cokey, the “Lambeth Walk” and the conga with members of the public.
Did anyone take notice of the young princesses?
In 2006, Jean Woodroffe, who was one of Queen Elizabeth II’s first ladies in waiting, recalled no one “appeared to take much notice” of the royal sisters as they partook in the revelry of the day.
“What was amusing is that we went into the Ritz hotel through one door and out of the other day, the other end, doing the conga,” Ms Woodroffe told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.
“The extraordinary thing was that nobody seemed to take much notice. Then we stood outside Buckingham Palace with the crowd and we all shouted, ‘We want the King’ with everybody else until the King and Queen came out onto the balcony.”
Princess Elizabeth wore her Auxiliary Transport Service uniform on VE Day, having joined the armed forces in February that year.
The monarch told the BBC in 1985 that she tried to avoid being spotted on the streets of the capital, stating: “I pulled my uniform cap well down over my eyes”.
“I remember lines of unknown people linking arms and walking down Whitehall, and all of us were swept along by tides of happiness and relief,” the Queen said.
In 2015, a dramatisation of Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret’s VE Day celebrations was released in the form of a feature film titled A Royal Night Out.
Sarah Gadon, who portrayed the future Queen, said she liked the description of the tale as “a Cinderella story in reverse”.
“It wasn’t about putting on this dress and becoming a princess. It was becoming a part of the crowd and what that meant to somebody who wanted to feel normal for a night,” the actor said.