Queen Elizabeth II urged Britons to adopt the same discipline and resolve that the U.K. showed during World War II as she sought to comfort the public during the fight against coronavirus.
In a rare televised address, the 93 year-old monarch insisted that the sacrifices made during the national lockdown will be worth it, and added that families and friends will be reunited again once the crisis passes.
“I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge,” she said. “And those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any.”
The Queen thanked National Health Service staff and other key workers tackling the pandemic. Other than her annual Christmas address, she rarely makes such public pronouncements.
She recalled her first broadcast in 1940 as a teenager growing up in World War II, alongside her sister Margaret. “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.”
The speech was recorded at Windsor Castle by a single cameraman wearing personal protective equipment and keeping a safe distance from the monarch. In her message, the Queen said self-isolation would be hard for many but also offered people a chance to slow down, reflect on life, or pray.
“We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return,” she said. “We will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again. We will meet again.”
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