| 16.1°C Belfast

Queen to send private message to Dame Vera Lynn’s family

The monarch echoed the singer’s wartime anthem in her address to the nation on the pandemic.

Close

The Queen referenced Dame Vera’s song in her address to the nation (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Queen referenced Dame Vera’s song in her address to the nation (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Queen referenced Dame Vera’s song in her address to the nation (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Queen is to send a private message of condolence to Dame Vera Lynn’s family.

Buckingham Palace said the monarch, who is staying at Windsor Castle, will write to express her sympathy after the Forces’ Sweetheart died at the age of 103.

The Queen echoed the singer’s famous Second World War anthem in her televised address on coronavirus in April, telling the nation: “We will meet again.”

The pair – who were born nine years apart – met on many occasions through the decades and shared a bond due to their wartime experiences.

Close

The Queen talks to Dame Vera Lynn at an event celebrating the monarch’s 40th anniversary on the throne (Martin Keene/PA)

The Queen talks to Dame Vera Lynn at an event celebrating the monarch’s 40th anniversary on the throne (Martin Keene/PA)

PA

The Queen talks to Dame Vera Lynn at an event celebrating the monarch’s 40th anniversary on the throne (Martin Keene/PA)

Dame Vera spent time with the teenage Princess Elizabeth and her family in 1945 at Windsor Castle, where the princess stayed for her safety during the Second World War, just as she has done in lockdown.

The singer and the royals celebrated the impending German surrender together, weeks ahead of the official announcement of peace.

At a party in the castle, she joined other entertainers and the Windsors “for a sort of private victory celebration”.

Close

The Queen with Dame Vera Lynn and Claire Sweeney at a Second World War 60th anniversary service (Edmond Terakopian/PA)

The Queen with Dame Vera Lynn and Claire Sweeney at a Second World War 60th anniversary service (Edmond Terakopian/PA)

PA

The Queen with Dame Vera Lynn and Claire Sweeney at a Second World War 60th anniversary service (Edmond Terakopian/PA)

Dame Vera later recalled: “There was Tommy Trinder and one or two other artists, the King and Queen and two princesses were there, and it was just sort of a private little party.

“So of course I wasn’t surprised when peace was declared; we had already had a pre-warning, as it were, that it was finishing.”

Actress Miriam Margolyes summed up the Queen’s relationship to Dame Vera in her own tribute.

Close

The Queen receiving a record album – extracts from 25 years of Royal Variety Performance – from Vera Lynn in 1973 (PA)

The Queen receiving a record album – extracts from 25 years of Royal Variety Performance – from Vera Lynn in 1973 (PA)

PA

The Queen receiving a record album – extracts from 25 years of Royal Variety Performance – from Vera Lynn in 1973 (PA)

“There is no-one in our lives, except the Queen, who had the power to connect a nation,” she said. “For that, she will be remembered and always with love.”

Dame Vera was closely associated with the Queen Mother – and both were heralded for keeping spirits up during the war when the nation suffered under the Blitz and troops were training at home and fighting overseas.

They used to write to one another, once sending mutual messages of support when Dame Vera fractured her thigh and the Queen Mother dislocated her shoulder at the same time, and they met frequently at charity events and occasions commemorating the war.

Close

Dame Vera Lynn meeting the Queen Mother in Buckingham Palace on the 50th anniversary of VE Day (Rebecca Naden/PA)

Dame Vera Lynn meeting the Queen Mother in Buckingham Palace on the 50th anniversary of VE Day (Rebecca Naden/PA)

PA

Dame Vera Lynn meeting the Queen Mother in Buckingham Palace on the 50th anniversary of VE Day (Rebecca Naden/PA)

On the 50th anniversary of VE Day in 1995, Dame Vera took centre stage in front of Buckingham Palace to sing to the thousands of people who gathered in celebration.

Watching from the balcony were the Queen Mother, the Queen and Princess Margaret.

The royal trio joined in with the crowds to sing along with Dame Vera as she performed The White Cliffs Of Dover.

Close

The Queen, alongside the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the 50th anniversary of VE Day in 1995 (PA)

The Queen, alongside the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the 50th anniversary of VE Day in 1995 (PA)

PA

The Queen, alongside the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the 50th anniversary of VE Day in 1995 (PA)

She took part in the Queen Mother’s 100th birthday parade, and paid tribute to her when she died in 2002.

The Prince of Wales’s Clarence House Twitter account posted a photographic tribute to Dame Vera.

It read “Remembering Dame Vera Lynn” and featured an image of the singer after she was invested as a Dame Commander in 1975, and a photo of her with Charles, and also the Duchess of Cornwall.

PA