Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II addressed the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth on Sunday night. Her historic television address comes at a time when her country is under quarantine and lockdown guidance from the government and police, the economy grinding to a halt, and thousands of people dying in hospitals as a result of the Chinese coronavirus.
The Queen addresses the people of the United Kingdom every Christmas in a televised speech, but this marks just the fourth time she has spoken to the nation about topical issues and offered her reassurance and support. Now 93 years old, the Queen is the longest-reigning monarch in the country and continues to offer stability and balance during turbulent political times.
In her speech, the Queen invoked wartime spirits, making references to the Second World War. The Queen explained how she first gave a radio address to the people of Britain in 1940, when she was a child, reassuring the children being relocated to the countryside to keep them safe from German bombs.
“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.”
The Queen also took the opportunity to thank the medical staff in the National Health Service, the United Kingdom’s universal health care system, for their tireless work. She also thanked the essential workers who continue to go about their normal working days despite the risk of contracting the virus.
“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,” she said.
The full address, which was recorded in Windsor Castle, can be seen in the video 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
Queen Elizabeth II is self-isolating with her husband, Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, in Windsor Castle. Her son, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla are self-isolating on an estate in Scotland. Prince Charles recently contracted the coronavirus but has since recovered.