At first, and despite the Sétif massacre of May 8, 1945, and the pro-Independence struggle before World War II, most Algerians were in favor of a relative status-quo. While Messali Hadj had radicalized by forming the FLN, Ferhat Abbas maintained a more moderate, electoral strategy.
On VE Day—8 May 1945—the palace was the centre of British celebrations. The King, the Queen, Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen), and Princess Margaret appeared on the balcony, with the palace's blacked-out windows behind them, to cheers from a vast crowd in The Mall. The damaged Palace was carefully restored after the war by John Mowlem & Co. It was designated a Grade I listed building in 1970.