Coronavirus: Queen Elizabeth says UK ‘will succeed’ in its fight against Covid-19 but may have ‘more to endure’

Monarch thanks frontline NHS staff and other workers for ‘selflessly’ carrying out essential roles

Conrad Duncan
Sunday 05 April 2020 21:17
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Queen Elizabeth tells UK it 'will succeed' in fight against coronavirus

The Queen has said the UK “will succeed” in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic but acknowledged there may be “more to endure” before normality can return to the country.

In a rare televised address to the nation, the UK’s head of state delivered a message of hope, saying if people “remain united and resolute” in the face of the outbreak “we will overcome it”.

She thanked frontline NHS staff, care workers and others for “selflessly” carrying out their essential roles during the crisis and echoed the words of Dame Vera Lynn when she told the British public: “We will meet again”.

The Queen spoke as the country approached its third week in lockdown as part of efforts to slow the spread of Covid-19, which has already led to the deaths of nearly 5,000 people.

“We will succeed – and that success will belong to every one of us,” she said in her address from Windsor Castle, which was pre-recorded before this weekend.

“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.”

Dame Vera helped rally the nation during wartime with her songs, most notably “We’ll Meet Again”, which became a significant tune for servicemen fighting abroad and those at home separated from loved ones.

The Queen, who is from the wartime generation, recalled her experience in 1940 when she gave her first radio broadcast to evacuated children.

The then 14-year-old Princess Elizabeth had been sent to Windsor Castle for safety with her sister Princess Margaret and recorded a message calling on evacuated young people to have courage, telling them she and her sister knew what it felt like to be separated from those they loved.

On Sunday night, she said: “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 the Queen broadcasts a recorded message each year on Christmas Day, this special broadcast was only the fifth of its kind she has given in her 68-year reign.

Previous speeches were televised to mark her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, and the First Gulf War in 1991.

The monarch’s address was widely praised for its sentiment. The new Labour leader Keir Starmer said: “The Queen speaks for the whole country and our determination to defeat the coronavirus.”

Princess Eugenie said her grandmother’s words “bring us together and unite us in our effort to overcome.”

You can read the full address here: Read the Queen’s coronavirus address to nation in full

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