Buckingham Palace shared memories of its Queen’s Victory Day celebrations as “one of the most memorable nights of my life” on the 75th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe.
The monarch recorded an interview for BBC Radio 4 The Way We Were for the 40th anniversary on May 8, 1985.
In the audio archives that appeared on the royal family’s social networks, the queen can be heard telling how, at the age of 19, she joined thousands of other revelers after having slipped into the crowd in front of Buckingham Palace without being noticed with its 14 years. old sister Princess Margaret.
“We applauded the king and queen on the balcony, and then we walked for miles on the streets,” said the queen, explaining, “I remember lines of unknown people connecting arms and going down Whitehall, we all simply swept away a wave of happiness and relief. ‘
The queen, 93, spoke of being swept away by a wave of happiness and relief in a 1985 archived interview posted on the royal family’s Instagram page today.
An 18-year-old Princess Elizabeth joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) and registered under number 230873 junior non-commissioned officer Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor and took a driving and maintenance course in Aldershot , qualifying as a driver.
And it was an unprecedented and spontaneous violation of royal protocol when the princesses rushed out of the palace after dinner to join the crowd, accompanied by a group of guard officers, who were friends of the princesses.
Her parents, George VI and Queen Elizabeth, let the girls leave the palace in groups of 16, including the Hon. Margaret Rhodes, the Queen’s first cousin, and Jean Woodroffe, her lady in waiting.
The group also included Lord Porchester, who would later become the Queen’s race director, and Peter Townsend, the king’s squire who caused a national crisis a decade later when, as a divorcee, he won the hearts of the Princess Margaret.
In the unearthed radio interview, Queen Elizabeth, who worked as a mechanic during the war, recalled being “terrified” that she would be recognized in the midst of Victory Day crowds.
“My sister and I realized that we couldn’t see what the crowds liked. My mom had put on her tiara for the occasion, so we asked my parents if we could go out and see for ourselves. I remember we were terrified of being recognized, “said the monarch.
The Queen and the armed forces
As a young woman, the Queen became the first female member of the royal family to join the armed services as a full-time active member when she became a member of the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) in 1945 (she is represented doing technical repairs working during his WWII military service 1944).
She reached the rank of junior commander after completing her course at the ATS # 1 Mechanical Training Center and passed out as a fully qualified driver.
When the Women’s Royal Army Corps (WRAC) was founded in 1949 as the successor to the ATS, it became an Honorary Chief Comptroller and then an Honorary Brigadier.
She resigned from these appointments when she became queen in 1953
She revealed how they had “cheated” to make sure their parents appeared on the balcony for their cries of “We want the king.”
“We managed to see my parents on the balcony, having cheated a bit because we sent a message in the house to say that we were waiting outside,” said the queen.
“I think it was one of the most memorable nights of my life.”
Under the guise of darkness, royal teenagers are not recognized in the crowd.
They sang in jubilation, did the hokey cokey and the Lambeth Walk, and also danced the conga through the nearby Ritz Hotel in Piccadilly.
She was in uniform during the day and told how she had pulled her cap “well above my eyes” so as not to be recognized.
But she added that she had been reprimanded by a colleague.
George VI and Queen Elizabeth let their daughters leave the palace in groups of 16, including the Honorable Margaret Rhodes, the Queen’s first cousin, and Jean Woodroffe, his lady in waiting. In the photo, Elizabeth (left), the Queen, King George VI and Princess Margaret on Victory Day
As a young woman, the Queen became the first female member of the royal family to join the armed services as a full-time active member when she became a member of the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) in 1945 (she is represented doing technical repairs working during his WWII military service 1944). She reached the rank of junior commander after completing her course at the ATS # 1 Mechanical Training Center and passed out as a fully qualified driver. When the Women’s Royal Army Corps (WRAC) was founded in 1949 as the successor to the ATS, it became an Honorary Chief Comptroller and then an Honorary Brigadier. She resigned from these appointments when she became queen in 1953
“A grenadier officer among our group of about 16 said that he refused to be seen with another poorly dressed officer, so I had to put on my cap normally,” she said.
The Queen recounted with emotion how one of her friends – a cousin – who would be John Elphinstone – had just returned for years as a prisoner of war.
“I remember the amazement of my four and a half year old cousin who returned to a prisoner of war camp, walking freely with his family in the friendly crowd,” she said.
As part of the official celebrations of 1945, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth made eight appearances on the palace balcony in 10 hours – on one occasion accompanied by Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
The Queen’s relationship with the armed forces began when, as Princess Elizabeth, she joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) in 1945, becoming the first female member of the royal family to join the armed services as a member active full time (pictured next to an army ambulance during World War II). During her time in the ATS, the princess learned to drive and maintain vehicles. Since then, the Queen has maintained a close relationship with the armed forces through regular visits to service establishments and ships. She holds numerous military appointments and honorary ranks
Elizabeth and Margaret themselves appeared six times with their parents throughout the day and evening.
The queen said: “I remember the thrill and the relief after the day before the Prime Minister announced the end of the war in Europe.
“My parents went out on the balcony in response to the huge crowd outside. I think we went to the balcony almost every hour, six times.
Princess Elizabeth Royal Evening
Victory Day was the only known occasion when the Queen escaped from the royal cocoon and celebrated among her future subjects. In the photo, the celebrations as imagined in the film A Royal Night Out depicting Elizabeth (left) and Margaret who lift their heels on Victory Day
By Brian Viner for Weekend Magazine
Unlike Dunkirk and D-Day, VE Day received little attention from filmmakers. But one image that celebrates is the 2015 A Royal Night Out, which tells the true alluring story of Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret mingling with the crowd.
During the war, their father, King George VI, remarked, “Poor darlings, they have never had fun yet,” but that night they were allowed to go after him.
The film, with Sarah Gadon and Bel Powley as Elizabeth and Margaret, and Rupert Everett and Emily Watson as their parents, portrays the queen as firmly against joining the crowd – “Ebsolutely not!” – and Margaret is upset.
“We will be locked in this horrible mausoleum for the rest of our fulfilled lives,” she laments.
Fortunately, the king gave in, as long as the girls were assigned to chaperones, an unfortunate pair of army officers. The wretched duo is shrugged, after which Elizabeth connects with an aviator played by Jack Reynor, whom she meets on bus # 14 and who ends up at the palace with her for breakfast.
In reality, of course, nothing like that happened, but when the film was released, it was a validation for Ronald Thomas, 85, who had often tried to convince his family that as a 15 years old, he had danced with the future. Queen in Trafalgar Square that night.
When asked if she was the princess, she first denied it and then admitted that she was, begging Ronald not to tell anyone. For years, no one believed it, but when the film was released, everyone did.
Other VE Day films include The Last Time I Saw Paris of 1954, with Van Johnson and Elizabeth Taylor in its most radiant form and a young Roger Moore, and Mister Roberts of 1955, with Henry Fonda as sailor arguing with his captain, played by James Cagney.