Eight appearances by the King and Queen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, before cheering crowds, and two speeches by Mr Churchill in Whitehall.
Those were the highlights of London’s VE Day scenes. Addressing a crowd estimated by police to number 50,000 in the early evening, the Prime Minister said: “This is your victory – victory of the cause of freedom in every land. In all our long history we have never seen a greater day than this.
“Everyone, man and woman, has done their bit. Everyone has tried. Neither the long years, nor the dangers, nor the fierce attacks of the enemy, have in any way weakened the independent resolve of the British nation. God bless you all.”
After three appearances on the balcony in the afternoon, their Majesties and the two Princesses came out once more about 7pm, again shortly after 9 – when the Queen wore white evening dress with a diamond tiara – and at 10.45, when they stayed 10 minutes. The King and Queen appeared alone shortly after 11 and almost half-an-hour after midnight. The floodlights were then extinguished.
The two Princesses, escorted by Guards officers, left the palace after nightfall to mingle with the crowds.
About 10.30, in Whitehall, Mr Churchill a conducted a vast crowd in the singing of “Land of Hope and Glory”.