Click the button for the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic and how it is impacting the royals

The Yorks

Prince Andrew represents Queen at VE Day Cenotaph service

During a weekend of events to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of Victory in Europe, The Duke of York has taken part in the memorial at the Cenotaph. The event took place on the actual anniversary of VE Day itself, May 8th. Representing The Queen, Prince Andrew laid a wreath of red poppies and was joined by political and military representatives and hundreds of veterans and their families.

The Duke of York attended the Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph today VE DAY70 Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph.     HRH The Duke of York attended the Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph today, which was held at 3pm, to coincide with the moment Winston Churchill broadcast to the nation in 1945.  It was marked by a nationally observed two-minute silence marked by minute guns fired from the parade ground Wellington Barracks by The King?s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and from the Tower of London by the Honourable Artillery Company.  An excerpt from Winston Churchill?s VE Day speech was read by his Great-Grandson, Mr Randolph Churchill.    During the Service, senior political and military representatives laid wreaths, witnessed by more than 100 veterans and their guests representing the various organisations ? both military and civilian ? who served in WW2. The service was led by The Bishop to Her Majesty?s Armed Forces, The Right Reverend Nigel Stock, supported by The Choir of St Martin-in-the-Fields.     Musical support was provided by the Band of the Welsh Guards, under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Roberts, and assisted by The Buglers of the Royal Marines and Trumpeters of the Royal Air Force. Dr Andrew Earis, Director of Music conducted the choir. Photographer: Sergeant Rupert Frere  RLC (Phot)

The ceremony, which included prayers, readings and hymns, started at 3 p.m with a nationwide two-minutes of silence marked by the traditional chimes of Big Ben and the ceremonial guns at the Tower of London and Wellington Barracks. Additional guns were sounded from saluting posts in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast. Companies, schools, and the public across the United Kingdom took part in the silence.

It was also a day for memories. One veteran, 91 years old Charles Clarke OBE, who served during World War II as a Flight Lieutenant in 619 Squadron, recalled May 8th 1945 in detail:

“On VE Day I can remember listening to Churchill on a portable radio in Brussels, I felt a sense of excitement and relief as I’d been freed from the PoW camp just 10 days earlier.”

The Band of the Welsh Guards, Buglers from the Royal Marines and Trumpeters from the RAF marching to Cenotaph.

The Band of the Welsh Guards, Buglers from the Royal Marines and Trumpeters from the RAF marching to Cenotaph.

“Life on the camp was tolerable. Fortunately we were young and fit but food was in short supply. The uncertainty was the worst thing about it all. After the murder on camp of 50 people, anything was possible. We were just so relieved to be free at last on what became known as ‘VE Day’.”

Corporal Peter Farrington, 36, a drill instructor for the RAF’s Recruit Training Squadron in Halton, the grandson of an RAF signaler and a Barrage Balloons launcher, which were used to keep German dive-bombers in the air and away from the city, said:

“It is important that we mark VE Day and remember the people who came before us. Being part of VE Day is an incredibly special experience and a moment to thank and honour all those who served during the War to protect the freedoms we all now have. It is important that we never forget what they all did.”

Cenotaph service leads three days of events to mark 70th anniversary of VE Day

V-shaped beams will light up Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, and Trafalgar Square throughout the weekend to commemorate VE Day. And The Queen will lead many events – she has lit a beacon at Windsor Castle to start a chain of bonfires across the UK for the anniversary. And on Sunday she will lead the Royal Family at a Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey.

photo credit: Crown Copyright 2015, Sergeant Rupert Frere RLC