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'We will meet again': Queen Elizabeth sends message to Britain during Covid-19 crisis

The Queen made the address this evening.

Image: PA Images

THE QUEEN HAS told the British people that if they “remain united and resolute” in the face of the coronavirus outbreak “we will overcome it”.

She warned the country, in lockdown for almost two weeks and with thousands dead after contracting Covid-19, “may have more still to endure”.

In the speech, 93-year-old Queen Elizabeth paid tribute to NHS staff and frontline workers.

Promising that “better days will return”, she said: “We will be with our friends again. We will be with our families again. We will meet again.”

Today, the UK’s death toll from Covid-19 rose by 621 – bringing the total to 4,934. This figure has quadrupled since last week and includes a five-year-old child, as well as seven healthcare workers.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in self-isolation with a high temperature after testing positive for the disease, which is expected to peak in Britain in the next week to 10 days.

The televised address is a rare event, with the British head of state only making three previous appearances during troubled times.

Speeches were broadcast 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.

The queen said: “I also want to thank those of you who are staying at home, thereby helping to protect the vulnerable and sparing many families the pain already felt by those who have lost loved ones.”

“Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it,” the queen said. 

She also referenced how during the Blitz in 1940 she gave her first radio broadcast to evacuated children.

“It reminds me of the very first broadcast I made, in 1940, helped by my sister. We, as children, spoke from here at Windsor to children who had been evacuated from their homes and sent away for their own safety,” she said.

The speech was recorded at Windsor Castle under special circumstances after specific advice from the Medical Household was sought, and followed, to mitigate any risk to the queen and others.

The castle’s White Drawing Room was specifically chosen so an appropriate distance could be maintained between the queen and the other occupant – a cameraman wearing personal protective equipment.

The queen has been staying at her Berkshire home of Windsor Castle with the Duke of Edinburgh since March 19, arriving earlier than normal for the Easter period as a precaution amid the pandemic.

Earlier today, UK health secretary Matt Hancock warned that the government could ban outside exercise if people flout stringent guidelines to cut the spread of coronavirus infections. 

With reporting from Dominic McGrath

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