On Sunday, Queen Elizabeth addressed the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in a broadcasted speech that is airing in Britain at 8 p.m. and 3 p.m. EDT in the U.S. According to the Associated Press, the speech contains remarks that will attempt to unite the British people as well as to acknowledge the suffering that people have gone through during this time. She also thanked the National Health Service (NHS)’s workers and volunteers who have stepped up to help.
“I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,” she said, according to excerpts released ahead of the broadcast remarks. “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.”
It’s very rare that the Queen would give a speech outside of her yearly Christmas address. She gave a speech at the time of the first Gulf War in 1991, before Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997, after the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, and on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee in 2012. This speech marks the fifth occasion that the monarch has addressed the British people during a crisis.
“I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge,” she said in the speech. “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,” she said, according to script excerpts.
This global pandemic has also personally affected the royal family. The Queen’s oldest child, 71-year-old Prince Charles, received a positive coronavirus diagnosis in March, and by the end of the month, he was out of self-isolation and is doing well.