Queen Elizabeth made a rare address to the nation amidst the coronavirus pandemic that has been ravaging the entire world.
Speaking from the Windsor Castle in a pre-recorded video that was filmed by a single cameraman wearing necessary protective equipment, she thanked the people for following government directives to stay indoors, and also paid her respects to the essential workers for their efforts in combating the virus.
Calling for unity and resolve, she said that this speech reminded her of addressing the nation during the World War I.
“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 Queen said. “I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge.”
“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,” the Queen said, adding “today, once again, many will feel a painful sense of separation from their loved ones.”
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
She ended her address with the words “we will meet again” – an apparent reference to Dame Vera Lynn’s war anthem ‘We’ll Meet Again.’
The speech lasted for just under four-and-a-half minutes.
In her 68-year reign, this was only the fifth time when the Queen has given a speech. Her previous speeches were in 1991, 1997, 2002 and 2012.
The one in 1991 was made at the start of the land war in Iraq. She made the second address on the sad occasion of the funeral of Princess of Wales, Diana. The third in 2002 was given on the eve of the funeral of her mother while the fourth in 2012 was the speech that marked her Diamond Jubilee.
Watched by around 24 million TV viewers, it was the second most-watched broadcast this year. It was slightly behind the address given by Boris Johnson in March, in which he announced stricter restrictions to combat the coronavirus.2