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VE Day commemoration

Photograph of King George VI and family during VE Day
Photograph of King George VI and family during VE Day ©
Photograph of King George VI and family during VE Day

Photograph of King George VI and family during VE Day ©

8 May 1945 marked the official end of the war in Europe – it became known as VE (‘Victory in Europe’) Day. Thousands of people gathered outside Buckingham Palace, calling for King George VI to make an appearance on the balcony. The King, accompanied by Queen Elizabeth (later The Queen Mother), Princess Elizabeth (later HM The Queen) and Princess Margaret made multiple appearances on the balcony for the crowds.

Princess Elizabeth wore the uniform of the Auxiliary Territorial Service; she joined the ATS in 1945, becoming the first woman in the Royal Family to serve as a full-time active member of the Armed Forces. During her time in the ATS, Princess Elizabeth learnt to drive and maintain vehicles.

Princess Elizabeth as A.T.S Officer

Princess Elizabeth trains as an A.T.S Officer, April 1945 ©

To mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, some people will reflect quietly on the sacrifices so many people made for freedom, whilst others might choose to hold a celebration at home to mark the occasion.

We’ve put together step-by-step guides for making your own bunting, re-creating vintage hairstyles, recording your day in a newspaper, and cooking food for a celebration (royal recipes, but not from wartime!): a Victoria sponge, sausage rolls and egg mayonnaise toasts. You can find the recipes, from our book ‘Royal Teas’, and the activity sheets below.

Resources

Paper bunting

Fabric Bunting

Gibson Tuck Hairstyle

Victory Rolls Hairstyle

Newspaper