The last time the Queen delivered a special address to Britons was in 2012 to celebrate her Golden Jubilee. Today she had a much more sombre message as she spoke of the challenges facing the UK, the Commonwealth and the world at large.
It is just the fifth time the monarch has delivered a special address to the nation, the other occasions were for the death of her mother, following Princess Diana’s death and during the Gulf War.
Speaking from Windsor Castle where she is in self-isolation, the Queen urged her countrymen to stay strong and self-disciplined as the nation face’s unprecedented changes.
“I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time. A time of disruption in the life of our country: a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all,” the Queen said.
The Queen reassured the nation that everything is being done to tackle the disease and that all people had a part to play in combatting the spread of the virus.
Her Majesty The Queen addresses the UK and the Commonwealth in a special broadcast recorded at Windsor Castle. pic.twitter.com/HjO1uiV1Tm
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 5, 2020
“Together we are tackling this disease. I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, we will overcome it,” she said.
Singling out essential workers, the queen expressed her appreciation for those carrying on their duties to ensure the nation kept functioning.
“I want to thank everyone on the NHS frontline as well as care workers and those carrying out essential roles who selflessly carry on their day to day duties in support of us all,’ she said. “Every hour of your hard work brings us closer to a return of more normal times.”
She also thanked all those Britons diligently maintaining self-isolation and social distancing.
“I also want to thank those of you who are staying at home, thereby helping to protect the vulnerable and sparing many families the pain already felt by those who have lost loved ones.”
The Queens said she hoped in years to come, Britons would reflect back on how they had behaved during the crisis and feel pride.
“I hope in the years to come you will feel proud of how you responded to this challenge.”
“While we have faced challenges before, this one is different. This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavour, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal. We will succeed — and that success will belong to every one of us.
“We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.”
Off-camera, the Queen extended a message to Australians, submitting the following to the Governor-General to share:
“At a time when people across the Commonwealth are experiencing a profound and rapid change to their lives, the pain of lost loved ones, and an understandable concern about the future, my thoughts are with all Australians.
“Whilst it can be difficult to remain hopeful in such challenging times, especially following the summer’s devastating bushfires and recent flooding, I am confident that the stoic and resilient nature of the Australian people will rise to the challenge.
“I extend my sincere admiration to the many Australians who work tirelessly to help those affected, provide essential services for their fellow citizens, and continue to care for the most vulnerable.”
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