Queen Elizabeth made a rare and historic address to the nation on Sunday amid ongoing health and safety concerns.
The 93-year old monarch expressed her gratitude for those who are social distancing and acknowledged the challenges of this time. Aside from her annual Christmas message, the Queen has made few similar addresses during her 68-year reign. Her past televised speeches have occurred on the eve of Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997, at her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, upon the death of her mother in 2002, and during the Gulf War in 1991.
“I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,” the Queen began. “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.”
“I want to thank everyone on the NHS front line, as well as care workers and those carrying out essential roles, who selflessly continue their day-to-day duties outside the home in support of us all. I am sure the nation will join me in assuring you that what you do is appreciated and every hour of your hard work brings us closer to a return to more normal times,” she added.
“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.”
She continued by touching on the importance of community during this time. “Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it,” she said.
“I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge. And those who come after us will say the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country.”
“The pride in who we are is not a part of our past, it defines our present and our future. The moments when the United Kingdom has come together to applaud its care and essential workers will be remembered as an expression of our national spirit; and its symbol will be the rainbows drawn by children,” she continued.
“Across the Commonwealth and around the world, we have seen heart-warming stories of people coming together to help others, be it through delivering food parcels and medicines, checking on neighbours, or converting businesses to help the relief effort. And though self-isolating may at times be hard, many people of all faiths, and of none, are discovering that it presents an opportunity to slow down, pause and reflect, in prayer or meditation.”
“It reminds me of the very first broadcast I made, in 1940, helped by my sister. We, as children, spoke from here at Windsor to children who had been evacuated from their homes and sent away for their own safety,” she said. “Today, once again, many will feel a painful sense of separation from their loved ones. But now, as then, we know, deep down, that it is the right thing to do.”
“While we have faced challenges before, this one is different,” she added. “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.”
She concluded the message by saying, “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,” she said.
“But for now, I send my thanks and warmest good wishes to you all.”
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Check out the Queen’s full address below:
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