Queen Elizabeth II speaks out on the coronavirus in rare special address: 'Better days will return'

As deaths from coronavirus spike in the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II has spoken out about the pandemic in a rare special address to the public. Sunday’s broadcast, filmed from Windsor Castle, marks just the fifth time the 93-year-old has made a special address.

The royal — whose eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, is recuperating after testing positive for the coronavirus — wore an emerald green dress in her taped message, which aired on TV, radio and the royal social media channels.

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“I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,” said the queen. “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.”

As footage from U.K. hospitals appeared on screen, her thoughts turned to health care professionals and other essential workers.

“I want to thank everyone on the NHS frontline, 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. 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.

Queen Elizabeth II (pictured on March 9) made a public address about the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday. (Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II (pictured on March 9) made a public address about the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday. (Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

“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.

“I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge, and those who come 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 moments when the United Kingdom has come together to applaud its care and essential workers will be remembered as an expression of our national spirit, and its symbol will be the rainbows drawn by children,” she continued, referencing “heartwarming” moments of solidarity in the U.K. and elsewhere.”

“Though self-isolating may at times be hard, many people of all faiths, and of none, are discovering that it presents an opportunity to slow down, pause and reflect, in prayer or meditation,” she added.

She went on to mention her 1940 wartime message with sister Princess Margaret, reflecting, “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 ended the message on an optimistic note.

“While we have faced challenges before, this one is different,” she continued. “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.”

Earlier in the day, President Donald Trump called Queen Elizabeth II a “great and wonderful woman.”

The queen previously issued a statement on March 19 addressing the health crisis, which she called “a period of great concern and uncertainty.”

“At times such as these, I am reminded that our nation’s history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts with a focus on the common goal,” it read.

“We are enormously thankful for the expertise and commitment of our scientists, medical practitioners and emergency and public services; but now more than any time in our recent past, we all have a vitally important part to play as individuals — today and in the coming days, weeks and months.

“Many of us will need to find new ways of staying in touch with each other and making sure that loved ones are safe. I am certain we are up to that challenge. You can be assured that my family and I stand ready to play our part.”

In addition to Prince Charles, the father-in-law to the queen’s granddaughter Princess Eugenie, George Brooksbank, has also battled COVID-19, while Princess Beatrice has postponed her wedding due to the pandemic.

For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC and WHO’s resource guides.

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