'Never give up': Queen praises Britons on Victory in Europe Day

In a televised message, the 94-year-old monarch said those who had served during the conflict with Nazi Germany in the 1940s would admire how their descendants were coping with COVID-19 and the lockdown imposed to curb its spread.

"Today it may seem hard that we cannot mark this special anniversary as we would wish," Elizabeth said, reflecting on the scaling down of events to mark the VE Day anniversary because of a ban on social gatherings, with a veterans' parade canceled and street parties scrapped. "Instead we remember from our homes and our doorsteps. But our streets are not empty. They are filled with the love and the care that we have for each other. When I look at our country today and see what we are willing to do to protect and support one another, I say with pride, that we are still a nation those brave soldiers, sailors and airmen would recognize and admire."

Britain has the highest death toll in Europe from COVID-19 at more than 30,000, a number second only to the United States.