Ve Day
Princess Elizabeth joins, from left, Queen Elizabeth, Winston Churchill, King George VI, and Princess Margaret, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, 8 May 1945. Photograph: AP
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The European war is over and this is VE-Day and a holiday

The European War is over, apart from clashes in Prague and other parts of Czechoslovakia, which are expected to subside quickly.

The war in Europe has ended with Germany’s unconditional surrender. Victory will be announced officially by the Prime Minister in a broadcast at three o’clock this afternoon and the King with broadcast at 9 pm. To-day will be regarded as VE Day, and both to-day and to-morrow will be public holidays.

Explanation of the delay in making the official announcement lies in the importance attached to a simultaneous announcement in London, Washington and Moscow. The first news of the surrender came from German sources. At 2 pm yesterday the Danish radio announced that the German forces in Norway had capitulated and at 2.30 the German Foreign Minister, Count von Krosigk, announced the “unconditional surrender of all fighting German troops.”

The war against Germany officially came to an end at one minute past midnight this morning after a day of victory rejoicings by the people of Britain and her allies all over the world.

Mr. Churchill’s broadcast declaration that the war had ended and that we might allow ourselves “a brief period of rejoicing” set the seal on celebrations which were already under way. The victory holiday will continue to-day before, as the King said in his broadcast to the nation last night, “we turn, fortified by success, to deal with our last remaining foe.”

The last act of the enemy’s surrender was arranged to be staged in Berlin yesterday. The Premier announced that the agreement ratifying the surrender instrument would be signed by Air Chief Marshal Tedder, General Lattre de Tassigny, and Marshal Zhukov for the Allies, and by Field Marshal Keitel and the Army, Navy, and Air Commanders-in-Chief for the Germans.

Buckingham Palace and Whitehall were the centres of the great VE Day demonstrations here to-day. The Royal Family made several appearances on the balcony of the Palace and on one occasion were accompanied by Mr Churchill.

The two Princesses, escorted by Guards officers, left the Palace after nightfall to mingle with the great crowds outside. The Prime Minister twice appeared on the balcony of the Ministry of health, and addressed a large crowd in Whitehall. On his second appearance, made just after 10 30 p.m. when the Houses of Parliament were floodlit, he conducted the singing of “Land of Hope and Glory.”

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