The Queen has spoken.
Queen Elizabeth II took decidedly rare action Sunday, delivering a televised speech to the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth. The 93-year-old monarch spoke about the need for solidarity and strength as the world battles coronavirus and feels the economic impact of social distancing. It was only the fourth such appearance during a time of national trouble she has made.
“I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,” the Queen opened. “A time of disruption in the time of our country.”
The queen offered sympathy to those suffering, and thanks to healthcare workers and others providing essential services. She called on the historically British traits of stoicism in conjuring up the storied attitudes of World War II Britons, imploring her subjects to show that face again — despite the Brexited U.K. being a very different place than it once was.
“I hope in the years to come, everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge,” Queen Elizabeth II said, “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.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was late to impose social distancing orders on the country, though they are now in full effect. Johnson himself was hospitalized for coronavirus complications Sunday. The Queen’s heir, Prince Charles, has also tested positive for coronavirus. With the country’s leadership in such a state, the queen’s subjects might just appreciate her sentiment: that “we will meet again.”