Queen Elizabeth has only addressed the UK four times before, but on Sunday evening, in a televised broadcast, Her Majesty made a rare, “deeply personal” speech, as Buckingham Palace called it.
“I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,” she said. “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.”
The Queen went on to thank healthcare workers on the front line, as well as 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.”
Thanking those who’ve done their part simply by staying home, she said, “Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it.
“Those who come after us will say the Britons of this generation were as strong as any,” she said to the people of the UK.
The queen concluded her message referencing a speech she made with Princess Margaret in 1940 – a time when families were also forced apart during the war.
“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.”
The speech was recorded at Windsor Castle, where the queen is currently self-isolating with Prince Philip.