On Sunday, Queen Elizabeth II made a historic speech that was broadcast into the homes of families across the UK and the commonwealth that had the spirit of a war-time address, as the world battles COVID-19. Outside of her annual Christmas speech, this is just the fifth time the monarch has made a televised speech during her 68-year reign.
Queen Elizabeth was dressed in green for the event, and she compared the speech to the war-time address that she made in 1940 – when she was Princess Elizabeth – along with her sister to comfort families during World War II. The Monarch showed a black-and-white pic from the 1940 speech with Princess Margaret during the address.
She said that as children, she and Margaret spoke from Windsor to other children who had been evacuated and sent away for their own safety. Today, once again, Queen Elizabeth says that many feel a painful sense of separation from their loved ones, referring to the stay-at-home orders in the United Kingdom.
“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,” said Queen Elizabeth. “But now, as then, we know, deep down, that it is the right thing to do.”
Just like when the country was at war, Queen Elizabeth told her subjects that they must remain united and resolute during the pandemic, and 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,” said the Queen. “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-humored resolve, and of fellow feeling, still characterize this country,”
As an American, I would like to send a word of thanks across the pond to Queen Elizabeth. The speech she gave yesterday was what a real world leader delivers when people need it most. It was uplifting and bolstered the spirit of this American and many others like me. #bravoUK
— View From The Desert (@VFTDLV) April 6, 2020
Queen Elizabeth said that the pride in who we are is not part of our past. Instead, it defines our present and future. She also pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic was different from war because the UK had joined with all nations across the globe in a “common endeavor.”
The monarch added that using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal, we will succeed. And, she says that success will belong to everyone.
Queen Elizabeth said that self-isolating isn’t easy, but it presents an opportunity to slow down, pause, and reflect in prayer or meditation. She says that we should take comfort in the fact that better days will return and we will be with our friends and families again, but in the meantime we still have more to endure.