Dame Joan Collins exuded glamour and quaffed champagne as she lead a toast to the heroes of the Second World War from the balcony of her London apartment to highlight the role played by women in the war.
Dame Joan, 86, whose childhood home was destroyed in the Blitz while she slept in a Tube station, lead the Nation’s Toast from the balcony of her London apartment earlier today.
While Dame Joan paid tribute to the servicemen and women, the public were also 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.’
The parades have been cancelled, but even in lockdown nothing has quelled the nation’s spirit when it comes to celebrating today’s 75th anniversary of VE Day.
Dame Joan Collins, 85, exuded glamour as she lead the 3pm toast from the balcony of her London apartment
Joan Collins (right) and her sister Jackie as children. The pair were evacuated from London with their mother duirng World War II
Although large-scale public events have been unable to go ahead, tributes have been paid by politicians and members of the royal family, as well as through a host of other events.
The actress cut an elegant figure in an all-white outfit as she lead the toast at 3pm today from her huge balcony.
Earlier this afternoon, she and her partner could be seen hanging out Union Flag bunting across pillars and a banister to create the VE Day spirit.
This morning, Dame Joan recalled her experience of the Blitz saying seeing boarded up beaches due to the coronavirus lockdown has reminded her of her childhood.
Dame Joan appeared ultra-glamorous in a chic all-white outfit as she lead the tributes to the heroes of the Second World War
The actress could be seen posing on the balcony of her home, having decorated the balcony with Union flags
The actress oozed glamour as she reclined on her baloncy in the sunshine to lead the toast and celebrate VE Day today
The actress had encouraged others to join in the 3pm toast as she paid tribute to heroes of the war with her toast
Speaking to Lorraine Kelly on Good Morning Britain, the Dynasty star, 86, said her memories of World War II have come back to her in the last few weeks.
She explained: ‘I do remember the war a little bit, it’s coming back to me more in the last few weeks, I was evacuated with my mother and her sister.
‘I remember coming back to London during one of the pauses in the Blitz, but when we were there it started again.
‘We went to a shelter in Marble Arch tube station. We could go down and sit in this very convivial atmosphere people passed around sandwiches and sang.
Dame Joan appeared ultra-glamorous for the occasion, opting for a white otufit with glittering gold jewellery as she raised a glass for the celebrations
Meanwhile Joan was also joined her husband Percy on the balcony for the 3 o’clock toast this afternoon
‘The next morning we went back to our flat in Maida Vale and it had been completely destroyed
At 3pm today, Dame Joan Collins will lead a toast to the heroes of the Second World War from the balcony of her London apartment to highlight the role played by women in the war.
The public is encouraged to join her in 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.’
Discussing the similarities between the current pandemic and war, Dame Joan added: ‘I have been long concerned about this virus for a longtime, when I came from LA two and a half months ago in a mask and gloves I was derided by LAX staff, and by people when I was going to restaurants with wipes.
Earlier today, Dame Joan and her husband Percy could be seen decorating their balcony for the celebration
Dame Joan’s husband Percy could be seen hanging out Union flag bunting across the huge balcony for the celebration
‘In the war, I was evacuated 12 times, I never saw a banana until after the war, for a long time we were in Brighton, we’d look out at the sea and the wonderful beaches and we couldn’t go out there, all your could see was barbed wire, rather like today.
The legendary actress, who was 11 when VE day was celebrated in 1945, added she was never really scared of the war as she didn’t understand it, and at school Hitler and Mussolini were made out to be ‘cartoon characters’.
‘VE Day was incredibly catching, my parents relaxed for the first time, Daddy bundled us into his car and we went down to Piccadilly.
Dame Joan Collins has recalled her experience of the Blitz saying seeing boarded up beaches due to the coronavirus lockdown has reminded her of her childhood.
Discussing the similarities between the current pandemic and war, Dame Joan told Lorraine: ‘ I have been long concerned about this virus for a longtime, when I came from LA two and a half months ago in a mask and gloves I was derided by LAX staff, and by people when I was going to restaurants with wipes.
‘People were dancing and singing, it was amazing, everybody was so so happy, it was a feeling of such relief.’
A two-minute national silence was observed at 11am to honour the memories of the British servicemen and women who gave their lives during the conflict.
The silence was led by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and broadcast from a location in Scotland, where they are self-isolating.
And later today the Queen will address the nation to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day on an extraordinary day of virtual commemorations.
Dame Joan revealed how she wore masks and gloves before the lockdown – which she’s been in for 52 days
As part of the revised plans to mark the occasion, Her Majesty’s words will be broadcast on May 8 on BBC One at 9pm.
That was the exact moment her father King George VI gave a radio address in 1945, broadcast from bomb-scarred Buckingham Palace, in which he asked the nation to join him in giving thanks ‘for a great deliverance’ as the war in Europe had ended.
The message will be recorded at Windsor Castle under the same conditions as the Queen’s national broadcast earlier this year – with a lone cameraman in protective gear standing more than two metres away, a royal source said.