Queen Elizabeth II is to urge “self-discipline” and “good-humoured resolve” amid the coronavirus pandemic during her televised address to the UK and Commonwealth tonight.
In a rare speech, which will be broadcast on TV, radio and social media at 20:00 GMT, the monarch is expected to say, “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 will add, “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 that 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.”
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According to the BBC, which has had advanced sight of the speech, she will also thank NHS staff amid the escalating crisis, which has claimed 4,313 lives in the UK, including a record 708 on Saturday. Globally, more than 1.1M have contracted coronavirus and at least 60,000 people have died.
The message was reportedly filmed by a single cameraman wearing protective equipment, with all other crew members in a separate room. In the UK, the short transmission will be aired on BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky.
Sunday’s message will be only the fourth of her 68-year reign beyond her traditional address on Christmas Day. The other three previous speeches to be aired came after the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, ahead of Diana, Princess of Wales’s funeral in 1997 and about the First Gulf War in 1991.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in self-isolation after testing positive for coronavirus, while his pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds tweeted that she has spent a week in bed with symptoms. The Queen’s son, the Prince Of Wales, last week came out of self-isolation following his diagnosis for the illness.
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