In Pictures: Then and now – 75 years since VE Day

Street parties and crowds cheering in Trafalgar Square marked Victory in Europe Day in 1945 – but Friday’s 75th anniversary of the momentous occasion will prove a stark contrast.

The coronavirus outbreak has forced the cancellation of planned celebrations.

But Britons have been urged to bring out the bunting nevertheless, and mark the occasion at home and via online platforms.

Here, we remember VE Day celebrations from the past – with the packed streets of 1945 a far cry from life under lockdown.

VE Day 75th Anniversary
Huge crowds gathered in Trafalgar Square on May 8, 1945, to celebrate Victory in Europe Day (PA)
VE Day 75th Anniversary
Joyce Digney and Cynthia Covello were famously photographed celebrating VE Day with two sailors in a fountain in Trafalgar Square (Imperial War Museum/PA)
VE Day 75th Anniversary
Men, women and children take to the streets of London (PA)
VE Day 75th Anniversary
Then and now – scenes in Trafalgar Square (PA)
VE Day 75th Anniversary
Comparison shot showing Sir Winston Churchill leaving the Houses of Parliament on VE Day, and how the scene appeared last weekend under lockdown (PA)
VE Day 75th Anniversary
Huge crowds at Mansion House, with the Lord Mayor of London on the balcony, in 1945 – and sparse scenes today (PA)
VE Day 75th Anniversary
Whitehall during the celebrations – and during lockdown (PA)
VE Day 75th Anniversary
A Service of Remembrance to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day, at the Cenotaph in 2015, and the scene last week (PA)
VE Day 75th Anniversary
The 2015 VE Day Parade marking 70th anniversary in Parliament Square, and how it looked last weekend (PA)
VE Day 75th Anniversary
The Red Arrows flew overhead in 2015 (PA)
VE Day 75th Anniversary
The Red Arrows fly over Horse Guards Parade in 2015, and the same scene last weekend (PA)
VE Day 75th Anniversary
Veterans pass the statue of Sir Winston Churchill in 2015, and the scene today (PA)
VE Day 75th Anniversary
Guardsmen of the Scots Guards march during the 2015 parade, and quieter scenes in the capital (PA)
VE Day 75th Anniversary
Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square on the 60th Anniversary of VE Day in London, and quieter scenes this month (PA)
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