The Queen delivers a heartfelt message to the ‘stoic and resilient Australians’ suffering through the coronavirus crisis after bushfires and floods ravaged the nation
- Queen addressed Australians in message delivered by Gov-Gen David Hurley
- She called on Australia to ‘rise to the challenge’ amid the coronavirus crisis
- Her Majesty praised Australians for their resilience after devastating bushfires
- Earlier, she delivered a rare televised address to the country and Commonwealth
The Queen has commended Australians for their ‘stoic and resilient nature’ in a heartfelt message to the Commonwealth as it grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.
The 93-year-old monarch delivered a rare televised address to Britain and the Commonwealth on Monday, urging the public to remain ‘united and resolute’ in the fight against COVID-19.
Her Majesty addressed Australians in a separate message delivered by Governor-General David Hurley, praising them for staying strong in the grip of the health crisis that has come on the heels of a devastating bushfire season.
‘At a time when people across the Commonwealth are experiencing a profound and rapid change to their lives, the pain of lost loved ones, and an understandable concern about the future, my thoughts are with all Australians,’ she said.
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The Queen delivered a heartfelt speech to members of the Commonwealth as it battles the coronavirus crisis
Australia’s Governor-General David Hurley passed down a message from the Queen on Monday, commending Australians for their resilience
‘Whilst it can be difficult to remain hopeful in such challenging times, especially following the summer’s devastating bushfires and recent flooding, I am confident that the stoic and resilient nature of the Australian people will rise to the challenge.
‘I extend my sincere admiration to the many Australians who work tirelessly to help those affected, provide essential services for their fellow citizens, and continue to care for the most vulnerable.
‘You will remain in my prayers in the coming months, with the resolute knowledge that with hard work, faith and unity, we will rise to the challenges ahead and ensure the health and vitality of all Australia’s communities.’
The rallying cry follows the Queen’s message to Australians in January in which she expressed her sympathy and support as bushfires tore their way through the country.
Earlier, the Queen spoke from Windsor Castle where she is in isolation with her husband Prince Philip, 98.
In an unprecedented move, a sole cameraman was permitted to enter the White Drawing Room in Windsor Castle wearing latex gloves and a surgical mask, standing more than the regulatory two metres away from the elderly monarch.
She invoked the spirit of World War II as she spoke to the British public, saying they would overcome the outbreak if they stayed resolute in the face of lockdown and self-isolation.
Thousands of Britons tuned in to watch the rare and televised address on Sunday night
In California, customers were seen waiting for orders as Britain’s Queen Elizabeth is seen during her address to the nation and the Commonwealth
The extraordinary intervention is only the fifth time she has addressed the nation during her 67-year reign and comes as the UK death toll from the pandemic neared 5,000, with 621 new deaths.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 5,750
New South Wales: 2,637
Western Australia: 453
South Australia: 409
Australian Capital Territory: 96
Northern Territory: 26
TOTAL CASES: 5,750
Britons stuck at home amid the lockdown tuned in to the speech, sharing photos of their entire families huddled in front of the TV to watch Her Majesty.
Aides stressed that the address was ‘deeply personal’ and it was clear that she had been inspired by the speech her late father, George VI, made at the start of the Second World War when he warned of dark times ahead but said he hoped that the British spirit would prevail.
She said: ‘I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time. 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.
‘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 the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country. The pride in who we are is not a part of our past, it defines our present and our future. ‘
The Queen also highlighted government efforts to get people to stay at home in order to minimise the spread of COVID-19, stressing that it is only by pulling together and encouraging everyone to play their part that the country will win this new, insidious war.
‘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,’ she said.
‘Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it.’
In Australia, COVID-19 has now claimed the lives of 37 people, including four new fatalities in NSW and one in Queensland, but a number of states have reported lower numbers of new infections.
Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy has pleaded with Australians to forgo their usual Easter festivities next weekend to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
‘We’re asking you to stay with your family, in your residence, not travel where you might be unwittingly spreading the virus, not have parties where you might unwittingly be sharing the virus with people who don’t have it,’ he said.
‘We will meet again’: The Queen’s historic address to the nation in full as it battles against the coronavirus outbreak
I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time. 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.
I want to thank everyone on the NHS front line, as well as care workers and those carrying out essential roles, who selflessly continue their day-to-day duties outside the home in support of us all. I am sure the nation will join me in assuring you that what you do is appreciated and every hour of your hard work brings us closer to a return to more normal times.
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.
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 the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country. The pride in who we are is not a part of our past, it defines our present and our future.
The moments when the United Kingdom has come together to applaud its care and essential workers will be remembered as an expression of our national spirit; and its symbol will be the rainbows drawn by children.
Across the Commonwealth and around the world, we have seen heart-warming stories of people coming together to help others, be it through delivering food parcels and medicines, checking on neighbours, or converting businesses to help the relief effort.
And though self-isolating may at times be hard, many people of all faiths, and of none, are discovering that it presents an opportunity to slow down, pause and reflect, in prayer or meditation.
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. 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 we have faced challenges before, this one is different. This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavour, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal. We will succeed – and that success will belong to every one of us.
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.
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