Queen Elizabeth II has urged the British public to prove that this generation is as ‘strong as any’ in her address to the nation during the coronavirus crisis.
Comparing the ‘challenging’ pandemic to the Second World War, the monarch, 93, said she hoped that everyone would be able to ‘take pride’ in their present actions in the ‘years to come’.
She continued: ‘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 Queen then went on to say she was reminded of the first broadcast she had ever made, in 1940, with the assistance of her sister Princess Margaret.
She continued: ‘We, as children, spoke from here at Windsor to children who had been evacuated from their homes and sent away for their own safety.
‘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.’ 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.
‘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.’
The Queen herself has seen coronavirus infiltrate her family after her son, Prince Charles, tested positive for Covid-19 on March 25. The Prince of Wales, 71, who had mild symptoms of the virus, has since recovered and is now out of self-isolation on the Balmoral Estate, in Scotland, where he is staying with Camilla.
This is the fifth time the Queen has ever made a special address to the nation. She also personally thanked frontline NHS staff, care workers and others carrying out essential roles in the fight against Covid-19. She continued: ‘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.
Prince Charles tested positive for coronavirus ‘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.
‘Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it.’ The public address comes just as the UK death toll from coronavirus hit 4,934 earlier today, following a further 621 deaths. It is one of the biggest daily increases since the outbreak began, following a rise of 708 deaths on Saturday. There are 47,806 positive cases of coronavirus in the country.
A week ago, on March 29, the total was 19,522. The Queen has only ever made four previous special addresses. These marked the first Gulf War in 1991, Princess Diana’s death in 1997, the death of the Queen Mother in 2002, and the Diamond Jubilee in 2012.