The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry, as the paraphrased saying from poet Robert Burns has it, and nothing proves this more than the impact coronavirus has had globally.
Plenty of iconic events have been cancelled, including Glastonbury and Coachella, and the biggest names at the box office, including Bond’s upcoming 25th outing No Time to Die, have had to be postponed.
One such plan that’s also gone astray for the UK is the planned VE Day celebrations, expected to be a momentous weekend to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
What’s VE Day?
VE Day is a day commemorating the official end of the Second World War.
Victory in Europe Day, generally shortened to VE Day or V-E Day, celebrates the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of armed forces on 8 May 1945.
What were the planned VE Day 2020 celebrations?
Before coronavirus, plenty of plans were in place to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
The government announced that the Early May Bank Holiday would be moved for only the second time in history to the VE weekend of the 8 May, so that a spectacular three day celebration could take place.
Pubs were expected to stay open later, until 1am on 8 and 9 May and people across the UK were encouraged to partake in the spirit, throwing or joining street parties.
Other plans, as reported earlier in the year by ITV, included a display by the Red Arrows and a Battle of Britain memorial flight above Buckingham Palace.
A procession was set to take place down The Mall, and St James’s Park was to be be turned into Victory Park, featuring examples of what life in Britain was like during the Second World War.
Winston Churchill’s iconic speech announcing the end of the war was set to be broadcast all over the country in public spaces at 3pm.
Have the VE Day celebrations been cancelled?
The latest advice is for members of the public to temporarily cancel all planned VE Day celebrations.
Until more is known, for now, it’s thought that all former VE Day plans will be moved to be celebrated on the weekend of the 15-16 August, to coincide with VJ Day – which commemorates the surrender of Imperial Japan during World War II.
The country might be ready to celebrate then, recapturing the spirit of post-war Britain, something Her Majesty The Queen touched on herself in last week’s address to the nation.
In a statement on VE Day’s website from Bruno Peek, the Pageantmaster for VE 75, reads: ‘I am afraid that the terrible Coronavirus emergency and consequent Government guidance means that we must advise participants to cancel or postpone the majority of the VE Day 75 community celebrations due to take place on the bank holiday weekend of 8th – 10th May. It is right and proper that people should be kept safe and healthy…
‘I am hoping that all the events you have carefully planned can be moved to the weekend of 15th – 16th August when we will be able to celebrate VE Day and VJ Day, both momentous points in our history.’