London, 6 April 2020 (dpa/MIA) – In a rare speech broadcast late on Sunday, Queen Elizabeth II called on the British public to show “self-discipline” and “quiet good-humoured resolve” in the face of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The monarch called the health crisis “a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all.”
It was only the fourth such special address by the British monarch, who, since taking the crown in 1952, has traditionally only given annual Christmas speeches.
“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,” she said.
“That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterize this country,” she said in the speech, recorded at Windsor Castle under strict measures to stop the spread of the virus.
Unlike during her annual Christmas address, no family photographs were to be seen behind her.
Before Sunday’s special address, Elizabeth II previously addressed the British in 2002 on the death of her mother, the Queen Mum, before the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997 and during the Gulf War in 1991.
As of Sunday, Britain has recorded 47,806 cases of the novel coronavirus, making it one of the worst-affected countries in Europe. Hospital deaths rose to 4,934, up by 621 from Saturday, according to the Department of Health.