Queen Elizabeth says, "If we remain united and resolute, we will overcome it" during address to UK
The reigning monarch of the United Kingdom and its other Commonwealth realms appeared on televisions across the U.K. Sunday evening to address one of the worst healthcare crises in the nation's history.
Speaking from Windsor Castle, the monarch said: “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."
Variety reports that the Queen spoke from Windsor and that her speech was not live but pre-recorded by one camera person who wore protective gear.
After thanking workers on the frontlines in the fight against novel coronavirus, the Queen said, “Together we are tackling this disease. If we remain united and resolute, we will overcome it.”
She also noted that the self-isolation period might allow for an “opportunity to slow down, pause and reflect.”
The Queen added the situation brought back memories of “the very first broadcast I made in 1940,” when the she and her younger sister Princess Margaret spoke at Windsor Castle over the radio, addressing children who had been evacuated from homes and sent away for their safety during World War II. “Today, many will feel a painful sense of separation from their loves ones. But it’s the right thing to do,” she said.
“We will succeed and that success will belong to every one of us. We should take comfort that while we have more to endure, better days will return. We will be with our friends again. We will be with our families again. We will meet again.”
Sunday’s speech marked only the fifth time the Queen has delivered such a message during a national crisis in her 68-year reign.
Her most recent address was eight years ago, during her Diamond Jubilee in June 2012, marking the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne. Prior to that, she addressed the nation ahead of her mother’s funeral in April 2002; on the evening before Princess Diana’s funeral in September 1997; and during the Gulf War in February 1991.
When the Queen addresses the nation, it is completely independent of the government, though they are agreed in advance by Buckingham Palace and Downing Street.
The Royal Family has been impacted by the virus, as Prince Charles, heir to the throne, tested positive for COVID-19 along with one of the Queen’s footmen, whom she sees on a daily basis.
Prince Charles has made a recovery after showing mild symptoms and going into self-isolation at his Scottish residence, calling the experience a “strange” and “frustrating” ordeal.
Meanwhile, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson also tested positive for COVID-19 and promptly went into self-isolation over a week ago. His situation has improved though he is still in quarantine with a high temperature.