Sunday, 5 April 2020

"We'll Meet Again": The Queen's Historic Address & the Royals Working Remotely

In a historic address, the Queen has praised the strength of the nation in a deeply personal message broadcast at 8 pm tonight live across several television channels and online social media channels to those around the UK and Commonwealth. The monarch said: "Those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any." The message was recorded in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle earlier this week with just one cameraman present to ensure social distancing was adhered to. It's been an incredibly tough week in the UK with cases continuing to rise and almost 5,000 deaths. A senior government source told Sky News "the Queen is the best judge of when to talk to the country, and we absolutely agree now is the right time".


It is one of only a handful of such addresses Her Majesty has made during her reign, occurring previously in trying times such as the Gulf War and the deaths of Princess Diana and the Queen Mother. She has also spoken to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee in 2012. During her lengthy reign, the Queen has lived through some of the most painful times in history, including the Second World War when she volunteered as a mechanic and military truck driver. The then-Princess Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret comforted the children of the UK during the Children's Hour broadcast. Tonight, the Queen recalled that day eighty years ago: "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."


The Queen's address from the Telegraph:

'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.''

As the Queen's moving message came toward its end she evoked memories of Dame Vera Lynn's iconic World War II song 'We'll Meet Again': "We will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again."


Finally, Her Majesty said: "For now, I send my thanks and warmest good wishes to you all." Those reassuring words from the monarch were much needed and I know meant a great deal to many. A memorable evening in the fight against COVID-19 and a defining moment in the Queen's reign.


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It's a strange time for all of us, where many are adjusting to working remotely. This is particularly unusual for the royals whose public appearances during times of crisis serve as much needed opportunities to highlight those on the front lines. Of course, we're not going to see engagements again in the traditional sense for some time; during the interim we've seen members of the Royal family reaching out over the phone and video links. Earlier this week, the Cambridges made two phone calls to NHS hospital teams at the forefront of this pandemic. Prince William praised staff at Queen’s Hospital Burton and University Hospital Monklands: "The whole country is proud of you, so thank you for everything you’re doing and all the hours you are putting in."



'Speaking to staff from University Hospital Monklands on Wednesday about how they are coping with the outbreak, the Duchess said: “You’re stretched in all sorts of ways looking after the patients in your care under such extreme circumstances. But you also need to be able to make sure you support yourselves, and each other.
"It must be so hard but I’m glad to hear that you’re currently getting all the support you need.”
Alice Bloxham, a sister on Queen’s Hospital Burton’s Covid-19 cohort ward, said: “Until recently our ward was an Acute Care of the Elderly ward, but now we are caring for patients with Covid-19. This has been a difficult time for all the patients we care for and for the staff working in a very different environment.
"It was a pleasure to talk to The Duke and Duchess and to be able to explain some of the challenges we face for our patients. Everyone at the hospital appreciates the support they gave us on the call.”'

On Friday, Prince Charles carried out the first virtual hospital opening as he declared the newly converted NHS Nightingale ready to take patients via Zoom from his office at Birkhall on the Balmoral estate. It was an amazing feat to witness the conversion of the ExCel Conference Centre into a fit-for-purpose facility just ten days after the start of construction. The Prince of Wales said: "I need hardly say that the name of this hospital could not have been more aptly chosen. Florence Nightingale, the Lady with the Lamp, brought hope and healing to thousands in their darkest hour. In this dark time, this place will be a shining light. It is symbolic of the selfless care and devoted service taking place in innumerable settings, with countless individuals, throughout the United Kingdom."


On Thursday, the Countess of Wessex joined a series of video conferences with the National Autism Society and the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) to find out how different communities are dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. Sophie also sent a video message to support Women Peace Builders and Survivors and Advocates against Conflict Related Sexual Violence.


Victoria Murphy penned an excellent piece on Sophie's efforts describing the Countess as the "Royal family's secret weapon":

'Sophie’s low-key approach to duties pre-dates her willingness to hop on video calls; she is known to surprise her hosts by driving herself to and from engagements, waving goodbye from behind the wheel of her own car.
“She actually presents herself as an ordinary person and I think that is increasingly what the royal family needs to do,” says Amanda Pullinger, CEO of 100 Women in Finance, an organization which Sophie champions.'
“The Countess is one of the unsung members of the Royal family and in fact she’s been working on quite gritty subject-matters for a lot longer than many people realize,” Hello! Royal Editor Emily Nash tells T&C. She adds that Sophie is “very well-liked” and that the Queen is “particularly fond of” her.Sophie’s low-key approach to duties pre-dates her willingness to hop on video calls; she is known to surprise her hosts by driving herself to and from engagements, waving goodbye from behind the wheel of her own car.
“She actually presents herself as an ordinary person and I think that is increasingly what the royal family needs to do,” says Amanda Pullinger, CEO of 100 Women in Finance, an organization which Sophie champions.
“The Countess is one of the unsung members of the royal family and in fact she’s been working on quite gritty subject-matters for a lot longer than many people realize,” Hello! Royal Editor Emily Nash tells T&C. She adds that Sophie is “very well-liked” and that the Queen is “particularly fond of” her.'

COVID-19 has already touched the Royal family with Prince Charles' diagnosis. It's been reported Princess Eugenie's father-in-law, George Brooksbank, is in a "serious but stable" condition. Eugenie's mother-in-law Nicola has also reportedly tested positive and is currently self-isolating at home. Wishing them both a very speedy recovery.


I'll sign off with this photo of Windsor Castle turned blue on Thursday night to join the nation in celebrating our NHS staff and heroes. Sending you all good thoughts during this difficult time.

28 comments:

  1. It was a very moving speech. I actually found myself crying during it and the song only added to that. The song really brought it home. It made me think of what previous generations went through. My grandparents, like the Queen, with WWII and my great-grandparents with WWI. If they could get through it, then so can I. We can do this. Sending loving thoughts to all of you near and far and hoping the best for us all.

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    1. Yes to all of it Lisa!! Living History!

      Becca USA

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  2. I liked it very much and really appreciated that the room was entirely personal to her -- no photos anywhere for people to comment on, etc. She lived through an incredibly scary time when the outcome was definitely uncertain. We grew up reading about the war and always had the knowledge that the Allies would win, but I believe there was very justified concern that Germany would win, so it must have been a time of great loss and worry in the UK.

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    1. Allison, I too noticed the lack of photos & also heard that she was not letting out the information about who she was wearing etc. as to not detract from the importance of her message & the moment! I was so moved & felt what an historic moment I was witnessing!

      Becca USA

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  3. As another day dawns in Australia, I have told my darling son and much loved husband, that today is one day closer to putting these dark days behind us. In the past week I have been thinking of my Grandparents and parents who lived through two World Wars, a Great Depression, The Spanish Flu pandemic, Polio, Smallpox, a crashing Stock Market, significant unemployment and rations and shortages in their every day lives.
    To see and watch Her Majesty has bought me to tears ... those hard to breathe from crying type of tears.
    Her speech was beautiful, supportive, thankful, uniting and compassionate. It is now our turn to follow in the steps of our Grandparents and be brave, courageous, thoughtful and kind. Sending my love to you all. Take care, be safe and stay home. ❤️❤️

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    1. Zora from Prague5 April 2020 at 23:12

      Beautifully said, Dee, thank you! HM is just incredible. I admire her so much!!❤️ It's too late for a longer comment but I'm so happy to have been able to listen to the speech!

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    2. Thank you Dee for saying so beautifully what I have been thinking & feeling too! Oddly I have been taking comfort from anything I am reading about The Spanish Flu! To think how awful it was & all the amazing & successful/thriving decades that came afterwards & of course many difficult ones too! Think of all the amazing things that went on to happen in the 100yrs following The Spanish Flu! It gives me hope that we will come out the other side of this changed forever, but having learned many important things that we can carry into our lives moving forward! It's scary though as I type this, wondering how this virus will effect all of us & our loved ones... it will touch all of us in some way! I'm praying for all of my DKB Family & for you Charlotte, that we will all be filled with faith & grace as we go through this experience!

      Peace & Grace,
      Becca USA

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    3. Very nicely said Dee!! cc

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    4. Yes, Dee, so well said.

      From a fellow Australian whose father spent three and half years in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp, and whose Scottish mother served in the British Army in Egypt during World War II, I have been deeply aware of the costly losses previous generations have borne, as we face this threat. They were of the Queen's generation and had the same practical, dignified, courageous approach to life's struggles. I found her speech deeply comforting (in a tearful sort of way). Even as I appreciate the good and difficult work so many world leaders are attempting in the fight, to hear our beloved Queen speak to us all with tenderness and resolve, was just what my heart needed to hear.

      And to Charlotte - thank you for an entirely uplifting post, pointing us to the good work going on behind the scenes.

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  4. Best message of all royal messages I’ve seen so far. I saw a picture on twitter of staff of a London hospital all standing in a room and listening to her. She’s that powerful. After a time of intense debate everywhere about who the most popular royal is, TQ has just proved there’s no competition. She’s a star. She speaks and the world listens.

    Just fantastic. What any citizen of any country would have liked to hear. We will meet again.

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  5. Susan in Florida5 April 2020 at 23:59

    The Queen is one of the very few leaders who have thanked the people for staying home. Not that I (or anyone else I know ) need praise for doing the the right thing, but she was gracious enough to to include this in her speech. I was thinking the other day that this virus is very like the previous World Wars, in that it encompasses the globe and each person has role to play. Everyone, wash your hands, talk about your metal health and don’t compare how you are coping with anyone else’s way. Thank you Charlotte for sharing the speech.

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  6. Thank you Charlotte for your wonderful post! I was able to stream The Queen's Speech live over here in the states & much to my surprise many of our stations over here were running it live! She is the one person who could touch & add calm & comfort to the whole world! I'm so glad they waited (at least over here) to announce that sadly the PM had been admitted to hospital! Our whole country is thinking of you & wishing him well! Hopefully a safe & solid recovery! I also noted during the Queen's Speech that it looked like she was speaking from the same room that she & Princess Margaret were in when they made their radio address during WWII?

    Take care everyone as we all brace for what is evidently expected to be a rough 2 weeks coming up!? I don't know what we are in for, but I pray for all of us to be strong & full of faith & grace!

    Peace & Be Well!!

    Becca USA

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  7. A beautiful and moving speech by Her Majesty. As always her words are reassuring and offer calm, and comfort. I hope our little community is safe❤️ Thank you Charlotte.

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    1. So true Tedi, she is a remarkable woman whose strength and quiet resolve are not only comforting, but inspiring. cc

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  8. As the U.S. enters what the experts predict will be our "Pearl Harbor" time, I watched the Queen's speech with appreciation, knowing that she has indeed witnessed the "enemy at the door." Dee in Australia, I feel for you and my Sydney cousins having just got over the devastating fires and now facing this. For everyone, we will hope and give hope to one another, uplift one another. We WILL meet again.

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  9. Valerie, it is just amazing that Australia has been through the most awful experience, just unfathomable destruction, only to run into this situation.

    I have seen how happy the environment is for us to be inside, though, and hope we learn from it. I also hope that every leader in the world will pay attention to infectious disease experts so we can avoid worst pandemics!

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  10. Nicole from France6 April 2020 at 07:18

    The Queen’s Speech has been broadcasted by a French TV channel , with live translation , I personnally followed it on the Royal Family Facebook page with English subtitles , which enabled to listen to HM’s calm voice and simple but very thoughtful words . It is extraordinary to see how a sovereign with no real politic powers can have such a huge impact on people from all origines , of course we all keep in mind what she went through during her reign, she definitely is history , this is invaluable and not be found anymore in terms of duration and human experience .....
    I too noticed there were no photos or « message » of any kind around her , and she wore a green dress , green been the colour of hope for a lot of persons ....
    I did appreciated reading Victoria Murphy’s piece about Sophie , whom I have always appreciated , dignity and simplicity , she is ...
    Take care all of you around the world , I feel quite privileged to stay home as I have a small house and a garden , beeing over 70 I am not supposed to have contacts so I try to confort friends and neighbours through telephone calls , telling hem about my gardening, and staying positive .
    And thank you Charlotte again to keep the link alive through your blogs !

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    1. Thank you Nicole for your lovely comment. I found your words & descriptions very comforting! I can imagine you with your sweet house enjoying your garden. Stay safe & how wonderful for you to call & cheer your friends! :)

      Becca USA

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    2. Nicole from France8 April 2020 at 18:41

      Thank’you Becca , I am a great supporter of the Queen , I wish France had such a sovereign able to speak above all politics ideas ....
      While I do not want to listen to all the terrible news all day long , I heard that your country has been hit in a terrible way by the virus , I hope all,your family and friends are safe , stay home , and take care !

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  11. She is so lovely. I have so much respect for her. Her words were comforting and she looks so elegant.

    Thank you for the nice post Charlotte. Please stay safe and I wish the same for all the readers here during this scary time.

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  12. Some of your overseas followers might not have seen and might be interested in the Prince of Wales's earlier video about coronavirus.

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  13. Thank you Charlotte for giving us interesting details again. I read that even republican Britons are appreciating deeply the Queen's touching effort and that it is noted that she praised a lot of people involved but not the government... Let us stay positive, there definitely will be a time when we all will look back and be grateful in some way or the other. A little fun fact besides: now we get unprecedented insights into royalty offices :-)

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  14. Great speech. Thanks to Her Majesty. Thank you, Charlotte.

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  15. Oh i love the queen speech its so lovely i cried a lot her speech and i hope all is well

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  16. It might be worth nothing that her choice of color and the turquoise stone have meaning. "Turquoise is perhaps the oldest stone in man's history, the talisman of kings, shamans, and warriors. It is a stone of protection, strong and opaque, yet soothing to the touch, healing to the eye, as if carved from an azure heaven and slipped to earth." "It is considered a healing and protective stone that enhances courage in the wearer."

    "Turquoise is also a calming stone that can induce internal serenity and lift depleted spirits. ... Because it aids tranquility and protection. Turquoise is a great stone to accompany meditation."

    "The color turquoise is associated with meanings of refreshing, feminine, calming, sophisticated, energy, wisdom, serenity, wholeness, creativity, emotional balance, good luck, spiritual grounding, friendship, love, joy, tranquility, patience, intuition, and loyalty." In the Bible, "Turquoise is sometimes used to indicate the river of God (Psalm 65:9) sanctification, the New Jerusalem, and God's healing."

    I believe the Queen to be a woman of very strong faith and draws on deeply on her faith in all that she does. In a time of reflection, her words, her presence and her message are a source of strength, comfort, and calming all in one. May everybody and their loved ones be blessed and safe during this time and a source of strength to each other.

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  17. Becca USA checking to see how you are feeling? You previously mentioned in another comment that you may have had this virus. Hoping you are much improved and your doctor hubby is still well.

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  18. The Queen is very impressive. Her speech is so comforting.
    And she looked wonderful

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  19. From Harpers Bazaar: "There is also the legend of turquoise, long celebrated as a stone of healing and love and protection, worn for centuries as amulet and talisman, and thought to enhance powers of leadership. It has also been known to help cure writer's block. And so if that brooch had anything to do with the crafting of that message, if it at all inspired “We Will Meet Again,” then all hail turquoise forever."

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