King George VI's VE Day broadcast
Published 08 May 1945
At 9.00pm on 8 May 1945, King George VI made a radio broadcast to his people.
Together we shall all face the future with stern resolve and prove that our reserves of will-power and vitality are inexhaustible.
Today we give thanks to Almighty God for a great deliverance. Speaking from our Empire’s oldest capital city, war-battered but never for one moment daunted or dismayed – speaking from London, I ask you to join with me in that act of thanksgiving. Germany, the enemy who drove all Europe into war, has been finally overcome. In the Far East we have yet to deal with the Japanese, a determined and cruel foe. To this we shall turn with the utmost resolve and with all our resources. But at this hour, when the dreadful shadow of war has passed from our hearths and homes in these islands, we may at last make one pause for thanksgiving and then turn our thoughts to the tasks all over the world which peace in Europe brings with it.
Let us remember those who will not come back, their constancy and courage in battle, their sacrifice and endurance in the face of a merciless enemy: let us remember the men in all the Services and the women in all the Services who have laid down their lives. We have come to the end of our tribulation, and they are not with us at the moment of our rejoicing. Then let us salute in proud gratitude the great host of the living who have brought us to victory. I cannot praise them to the measure of each one’s service, for in a total war the efforts of all rise to the same noble height and all are devoted to the common purpose. Armed or unarmed, men and women, you have fought, striven, and endured to your utmost. No one knows that better than I do; and as your King I thank with a full heart those who bore arms so valiantly on land and sea, or in the air; and all civilians who, shouldering their many burdens, have carried them unflinchingly without complaint.
With those memories in our minds, let us think what it was that has upheld us through nearly six years of suffering and peril. The knowledge that everything was at stake: our freedom, our independence, our very existence as a people; but the knowledge also that in defending ourselves we were defending the liberties of the whole world; that our cause was the cause not of this nation only, not of this Empire and Commonwealth only, but of every land where freedom is cherished and law and liberty go hand in hand. In the darkest hours we knew that the enslaved and isolated peoples of Europe looked to us; their hopes were our hopes; their confidence confirmed our faith. We knew that, if we failed, the last remaining barrier against a world-wide tyranny would have fallen in ruins. But we did not fail. We kept our faith with ourselves and with one another; we kept faith and unity with our great allies. That faith and unity have carried us to victory through dangers which are times seemed overwhelming.
So let us resolve to bring to the tasks which lie ahead the same high confidence in our mission. Much hard work awaits us, both in the restoration of our own country after the ravages of war and in helping to restore peace and sanity to a shattered world. This comes upon us at a time when we have all given of our best. For five long years and more, heart and brain, nerve and muscle have been directed upon the overthrow of Nazi tyranny. Now we turn, fortified by success, to deal with our last remaining foe. The Queen and I know the ordeals which you have endured throughout the Commonwealth and Empire. We are proud to have shared some of these ordeals with you, and we know also that together we shall all face the future with stern resolve and prove that our reserves of will-power and vitality are inexhaustible.
There is great comfort in the thought that the years of darkness and danger in which the children of our country have grown up are over and, please God, for ever. We shall have failed, and the blood of our dearest will have flowed in vain, if the victory which they died to win does not lead to a lasting peace, founded on justice and established in good will. To that, then, let us turn our thoughts on this day of just triumph and proud sorrow; and then take up our work again, resolved as a people to do nothing unworthy of those who died for us and to make the world such a world as they would have desired, for their children and for ours. This is task to which now honour binds us. In the hour of danger we humbly committed our cause into the Hand of God, and He has been our Strength and Shield. Let us thank Him for His mercies, and in this hour of Victory commit ourselves and our new task to the guidance of that same strong Hand.
The Queen’s speech at the COP26 Evening Reception
A speech by Her Majesty The Queen delivered via video message to the COP26 Evening Reception.
The Queen's speech at the opening of the sixth session of the Senedd in Cardiff
There are many challenges ahead as you work together to promote the well-being of the people of Wales, and support the recovery effort.
The Queen's message to the Institution of Engineering and Technology to mark their 150th anniversary
This anniversary provides an opportunity to thank and recognise the dedication and hard work of all those working in engineering and technology who, every day, make a...
The Queen's address at the Opening Ceremony of the sixth session of the Scottish Parliament
I have spoken before of my deep and abiding affection for this wonderful country, and of the many happy memories Prince Philip and I always held of our time here.
The Queen's message to mark Canada's first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation
I join with all Canadians on this first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Announcement of the birth of Princess Beatrice and Mr Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi's baby20 September 2021
The Queen's message to Emma Raducanu following her US Open win
It is a remarkable achievement at such a young age, and is testament to your hard work and dedication.
The Queen's message to mark the 20th anniversary of the 11th September attacks
We pay tribute to the resilience and determination of the communities who joined together to rebuild.
The Queen's message to British and Commonwealth athletes following the 2020 Paralympic Games
Your performances have lifted the nation and your triumphs been celebrated by us all.
A message of condolence from Her Majesty The Queen to the Prime Minister of Haiti
I am deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life and destruction caused by the earthquake in Haiti. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost their lives, loved ones...
The Princess Royal congratulates Team GB athletes and staff on their Olympic success
Everyone involved in Team GB has played a significant role in a magnificent performance
The Queen's message to TeamGB and Commonwealth athletes following the 2020 Olympic Games
The skill, determination and hard work shown by the athletes and their support teams throughout the unique and challenging circumstances of the last year has been an...
The Duke of Kent reflects on his Presidency of the All England Lawn Tennis Club in an article for The Telegraph
The Queen awards the George Cross to the UK's National Health Services
Financial reports 2020-21
The Royal Household today published its annual financial statement, the Sovereign Grant Report, for the financial year 2020-21.
Platinum Jubilee Emblem Competition launched
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Central Weekend 2022
The Queen's Jubilees and other milestones
A history of Jubilees
A speech delivered by Prince William as Lord High Commissioner during the Opening Ceremony of the CofS
A speech delivered by Prince William in his role as Lord High Commissioner during the Opening Ceremony of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
The Queen's Green Canopy
Message to the people of Northern Ireland
Across generations, the people of Northern Ireland are choosing to build an inclusive, prosperous, and hopeful society, strengthened by the gains of the peace process.
A message from The Earl of Wessex on the legacy of his father, The Duke of Edinburgh.
I, like all my family, have a lifetime of lasting impressions.
A speech by The Duke of Edinburgh on ‘Inter-face / User and Machine' at the RSA Conference, 6 November 2002
I think it is pretty well known that I have always been a great supporter of science and engineering and I have considerable respect for the technologies, which they have...
A message from The Duke of Cambridge following the death of The Duke of Edinburgh
My grandfather’s century of life was defined by service – to his country and Commonwealth, to his wife and Queen, and to our family.
A statement from The Princess Royal following the death of The Duke of Edinburgh
It is his example of a life well lived and service freely given that I most wanted to emulate.