07 May 2020

Your easy guide to patriotically celebrating VE day 'together' but apart during lockdown

The 75th anniversary of VE day will not be quite how we all expected. 

With street parties and events all over the country cancelled due to social distancing, some are worried that the celebrations will be somewhat muted.

But even lockdown can't dampen British spirit and patriotism so to ensure you can still mark the occasion  we've put together a full run-down of how-to's and what-to-do's to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of fighting against Nazi Germany in Europe during World War Two.

There are three main focal points - decoration, food and activities.

1. Decoration - red, white and blue; need we say more?! 

The celebrations aren't limited to humans (PA Images)

If you're not lucky enough to have any union jack rugs (or bloodhounds) in your house, there are other ways to decorate.

A young boy in Kent dressed in evacuee clothing decorated his house in chalk to mark the occasion (PA Images)

Gather up any Union Jack items, whether it be bed sheets, cushions, towels, flags and cover as much of your house and garden as you can.

Bunting is always a winner and if you haven't got any to hand it can easily be made out of anything - paper, old ribbons, old clothing and anything you can get your hands on.  Just cut into squares or triangles and tie together with string.

Bunting is an easy way to show your patriotism and can be re-used for next year's Olympics (PA Images)

When it comes to decoration, you musn't forget to decorate yourselves. This could be either dressing for afternoon tea or donning your own red, white and blue.

See if you can top this! (PA Images)
Dogs are also getting in on the dressing up action (PA Images)

2. Food - it really wouldn't be a British celebration without a tea party.

Suggested menu to eat ‘like a Brit’ this VE day. (Swaps are acceptable due to shortages and lack of access to supermarkets during lockdown - get creative if you must.)

Breakfast - Does it even need saying? It's got to be a full English (vegetarian/vegan alternatives are available).

But if you're only feeling like something small you could stick to toast and Marmite. 

Washed down with a proper brew - English Breakfast tea.

Everyone has their own way of doing a full English but the concept is quintessentially British (PA Images)

Lunch - lunch sort of merges into tea and dinner and supper and whatever your part of the country chooses to name it but this is the big one on a national celebration day.

Tea - Here you can pull out all the stops - cakes, cocktail sausages, scones, crust-off sandwiches, biscuits, the list goes on.

One again, accompanied by lots of tea and perhaps a glass of something bubbly or a Pimms.

Tea with all the trimmings (Pinterest)

Dinner/supper/general grazing - It has to be. It's got to be. Beans on toast. 

This British culinary triumph can be enjoyed at any time of the day or night and is a staple in most store cupboards so dig out that old tin, whack it on a buttery piece of toast and wallow in tomato-ey Britishness.

And yes, you guessed it…accompanied by a hot, strong cup of tea.

A quick and easy balanced British meal (good food)

3. Activities

Home-made bunting is not only decorative, but can be a fun activity for the family to get involved in and could be a way to use up any old red, white and blue clothing you've not longer got any need for.

Cake decorating is another way to get the whole family involved and enjoy something delicious and delightful at the end.

British cupcakes are an easy way to get involved (PA Images)

Entertainment on TV - there is also plenty you can watch and listen to.

Highlights include: 

10:50 BST - service in Westminster, Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle will lay a wreath on behalf of the Commons. Lord West will lay a wreath on behalf of the Lords

11:00 - two minute silence observed across the nation

14:55 - solo buglers, trumpeters and cornet players will be invited to play the Last Post from their homes

15:00 - broadcast of Churchill's infamous VE Day speech. Brits are encourages to stand up and say:"To those who gave so much, we thank you"

20:00 - Katherine Jenkins will perform live from the Royal Albert Hall and the nation are invited to sing a rendition of “We'll Meet Again.”

21:00 - the Queen's pre-recorded address at the same moment her father, King George VI gave his radio address to signal the end of the war 75 years ago.

21:30 - Spotlights to light up the sky in Portsmouth in resemblance of the blackout and to remind people “that lighter times will come again.”

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