British monarch Queen Elizabeth II tackled the coronavirus pandemic in her fourth televised speech ever in the history of her 68 year reign. Her previous three speeches addressed the Gulf War, the death of Princess Diana and the death of the Queen Mother – and she just gave her fourth speech about the current coronavirus pandemic.
The Queen has been self-isolating in Windsor Castle, which is where she also addressed the British public as a cameraperson in protectivegear recorded it. The rare speech was broadcasted on the BBC, shared on royal social media accounts, and was watched all over the world.
Beginning with highlighting this “challenging time,” she also thanked the selfless work of those on the frontline of the pandemic, including the NHS staff, and those abiding by the government guidelines to stay at home, she said, “I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time. Together, we are tackling this disease. I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it. I hope in the years to come, everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge. And those who came after us will say the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. The attributes of self-discipline, of quiet-good humored resolve, and of fellow-feeling still characterize this country. The pride in who we are is not a part of our past, it defines our present and our future.”
The broadcast of the speech also showed images of the Queen and her younger sister Margaret in 1940 as they addressed children during the Second World War as they had been evacuated from their homes and separated from their families in the Blitz. Drawing a parallel between then and now, she continued in her signature calm and reassuring tone, “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.” Ending the speech as added, “While we have faced challenges before, this one is different. This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavor. Using the great advances and science and our instinctive compassion to heal. We will succeed—and that success will belong to each and 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.”