Queen’s televised addresses just weeks apart

The Queen’s televised address on the 75th anniversary of VE Day is taking place only a few weeks after her last broadcast.

Outside of her Christmas Day speeches, it will be only the sixth broadcast by the head of state to the nation via the television during her reign.

Four have been special addresses on the subject of national crisis and grief, including her April 5 message less than five weeks ago on the coronavirus pandemic.

She also spoke during the Gulf War in 1991, and after Diana, Princess of Wales’s death in 1997 and the Queen Mother’s death in 2002.

Two have been to mark anniversaries – for her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, and now for 75 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe.

The Queen in 2012
The Queen in 2012

Televised addresses from the monarch usually take place years or even decades apart, but the head of state returning to the medium so soon demonstrates the unprecedented state of affairs amid the pandemic.

Traditional VE Day anniversary celebrations, of which the Queen had been expected to play a major part in person, have been constrained in lockdown with the cancellation of large-scale street parties and parades.

But the commemorations have been adapted with tributes including a two-minute silence, a live stream by the Royal British Legion and a doorstep toast to the heroes of World War Two.

The pre-recorded address by the monarch will be broadcast at 9pm – the exact moment her father, King George VI, gave a radio address on May 8 1945.

The Queen
The Queen

In her message of hope last month about the Covid-19 illness, the Queen said the country will overcome the virus, telling Britons: “We will meet again.”

She also delivered what was believed to be her first Easter address in April through an audio message, telling the public “by keeping apart we keep others safe”.

The Queen, who is at Windsor Castle with the Duke of Edinburgh and a reduced household, celebrated her 94th birthday in lockdown on April 21.

She is keeping in touch with her family by phone and video calls as the royals follow social-distancing rules along with the rest of the country.