Queen Elizabeth II has made modern history with an unprecedented address to the nation in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
In the four-minute clip, which aired across Commonwealth countries this morning, the Monarch issued a plea to the people of Britain to act mindfully during this difficult time.
The deeply personal address was filmed at Windsor Castle, where the Queen is currently isolating with her husband Prince Philip.
In the video, she states: “I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time. 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.”
She touched on the responsibility of citizens to act with self-discipline and good-humored resolve in the wake of World Health Organization recommendations and government advice, which stipulates that people should practice social distancing and stay home unless carrying out essential activities.
She also thanked the NHS workers and volunteers who are tirelessly putting in hours on the frontline in order to treat those suffering from the illness.
The work they are doing is more important than ever, yet many of them will likely be feeling overwhelmed as cases climb. With this in mind, their incredible work ethic right now is unparalleled.
“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,” 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.”
The Monarch also looked to the future, reminding people that they will remember how this global crisis was dealt with — ideally with pride.
“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,” she said.
“And 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-humored resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterize this country.”
In an emotional and personal anecdote, the Queen also referenced another broadcast she made when she was much younger — a time where she and sister Princess Margaret were innocent children, coming to terms with some of the harder realities the world encountered.
“[This COVID-19 broadcast] reminds me of the very first broadcast I made, in 1940, helped by my sister,” the Queen mused.
“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.”
“While we have faced challenges before, this one is different,” she said.
“This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavor, 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.”
She ended the address with some poignant words: “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. But for now, I send my thanks and warmest good wishes to you all.”
As reported by HELLO!, it is understood the Queen filmed the address in a room in Windsor Castle with just one camera man, who was wearing protective equipment for the duration.
A specific, spacious room was chosen in order to maintain the recommended social distance between the Queen and the videographer.
According to the publication, additional technical staff worked in a nearby room that had speakers.
The incredible message is an historic move from the Monarch, with these kinds of statements coming few and far between over the years.
In fact, apart from her usual Christmas message, the Queen has only ever addressed the nation four times throughout her reign.
The last time she gave an address outside of Christmas was for her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, proceeded only by a broadcast following the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, Princess Diana’s death in 1997 and the Gulf War in 1991.
This story was originally published on our sister site, Now to Love.