It is far from an ideal way to mark such a momentous occasion.
But in the true wartime spirit of ‘make do and mend’, Britons will come together on Friday to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day on television, online and in their own living rooms.
The high point will be the Queen’s recorded message on BBC1 at 9pm, the same time as her father, George VI, gave a radio address from Buckingham Palace three-quarters of a century ago marking Victory in Europe.
Earlier, Dame Joan Collins will lead a toast to the heroes of the Second World War.
Britons will come together on Friday to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day on television, online and in their own living rooms. The high point will be the Queen’s recorded message on BBC1 at 9pm
The Queen’s message to the nation will form the finale to the VE Day 75: The People’s Celebration programme, presented by Sophie Raworth.
Prince Charles will read an extract from his grandfather’s diary in which the momentous events of May 8, 1945, were recorded.
Following the Queen’s address, there will be a national singalong of We’ll Meet Again, led by Dame Vera Lynn, 103, from her home in Sussex, with the public encouraged to open their doors and join in.
Dame Joan, 86, whose childhood home was destroyed in the Blitz while she slept in a Tube station, will lead the Nation’s Toast from the balcony of her London apartment to highlight the role played by women in the war.
Earlier, Dame Joan Collins will lead a toast to the heroes of the Second World War
The public is encouraged to join her at 3pm, raising a glass with the toast: ‘For those that gave so much, we thank you’ – the first time such a tribute has ever taken place.’
Dane Joan told The Mail on Sunday: ‘We must never forget the selflessness of all those who sacrificed so much to keep us free during the Second World War.
‘Not only the brave veterans who fought on the front lines, but also the courageous women who put their lives on the line for this nation’s struggle.’
One of Dame Joan’s earliest memories of the war is of emerging from her Underground shelter as dawn broke over Paddington, West London, where she was born. ‘Our block of flats had entirely disappeared and in its place was a pile of rubble,’ she said.
‘I stared at the faces of the rescue parties, their faces drawn and soot covered, who had dug frantically all night for survivors while I, as a child, could only think about the fate of my favourite doll that I’d left behind.’
Official commemorations begin at 11am with a two-minute silence to pay tribute to heroes of the past and present.
Dame Joan, 86, whose childhood home was destroyed in the Blitz while she slept in a Tube station, will lead the Nation’s Toast from the balcony of her London apartment to highlight the role played by women in the war
From 11.15am, the Royal British Legion will stream a programme on its website, sharing stories and memories from those who served and made sacrifices during the Second World War.
Winston Churchill’s historic address to the nation announcing Germany’s surrender will be broadcast on BBC1 at 2.45pm.
At 2.55pm, buglers, trumpeters and cornet players will sound the Last Post from their gardens, and at 3pm more than 1,000 pipers will play Battle’s O’er, a traditional end-of-war lament, in 27 countries.
At 6.55pm, town criers will shout out a Cry For Peace.
There are also many resources online to help children get the most from the day.
Historian and broadcaster Dan Snow will host VE Day 75 history lessons for children tomorrow, Wednesday and Friday on his History Hit YouTube channel.
Prince Charles will read an extract from his grandfather’s diary in which the momentous events of May 8, 1945, were recorded
The Royal British Legion has developed a VE Day learning pack for seven to 14-year-olds, including first-hand accounts from veterans. It is available from the Legion’s website.
English Heritage is encouraging families to stage their own celebrations at home by providing a virtual VE Day party pack.
And across the country, people will be ‘gathering’ online to mark the day in their own way.
Royal British Legion standard bearer Steven Carr, of Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, is putting together video footage from more than 350 of his counterparts in other veterans’ organisations across the world as they lower their flags for their Virtual Parade YouTube channel and Facebook page.
Scouts in Gloucestershire will decorate tents in their gardens with bunting and Union flags and show them online.
Meanwhile, Lee-on-the-Solent boasts that its virtual VE Day celebrations streaming on Facebook will be ‘the biggest in Hampshire’.
Scores of other similar local events will be hosted online.
The standard bearer for the British Legion’s Penryn branch in Cornwall, Matt Barringer, will sound the Last Post and lead the town’s virtual VE Day event along with thousands of residents.