Boris Johnson has unveiled plans to mark the end of the Second World War in Europe, including a display by the Red Arrows and a Battle of Britain memorial flight above Buckingham Palace.
At 3pm, an extract from Churchill’s speech announcing the end of war will be played across the UK, while veterans will attend a service of thanksgiving held at Westminster Abbey.
The traditional May Day bank holiday has already been shifted to 8 May to mark the historic moment, which commemorates the anniversary of the Allies accepting the surrender of Nazi Germany.
Pubs will also stay open an extra two hours for the commemoration, allowing landlords to remain open until 1am on 8 and 9 May.
Mr Johnson said: “The 75th anniversary of VE Day marks a historic moment for our great country to come together and reflect on the heroes of the Second World War.
“No one will ever forget what they sacrificed in defending our freedom and securing peace across Europe, and we will continue to honour those who contributed at home and abroad.
“This programme of events gives the whole nation a chance to thank all those involved for everything they did – both for those alive today, and for future generations.
“And by commemorating these moments, we can remember and remind ourselves of the fragility of peace, and the need for us all to collectively uphold this.”
Catherine Davies, head of remembrance for the Royal British Legion, urged anyone who contributed to the war effort, including those who served on the home front and in the emergency services, to to take part.
She said: “To mark the anniversary of VE Day this year, the Legion is calling on communities across the UK to come together to honour the Second World War generation and recognise the scale of service and sacrifice made by those both at home and overseas.”