GIn a serene and sober manner, Queen Elisabeth II turned to the British and the entire “Commonwealth of Nations” on Sunday evening. In her short television speech, she appealed to British virtues to overcome the corona crisis. “Those who come after us will say that the British of this generation were as strong as anyone else, that the characteristics of self-discipline, a calm, cheerful determination and sympathy still characterize this country.” The Queen thanked the medical Personnel, but also everyone who is staying at home. The “interruption of life in our country” had “brought some grief, many financial difficulties and all enormous changes in daily life”. She hopes that in the coming years “everyone can be proud of how they responded to this challenge”.
It is only the fourth time in her 68-year term that the Queen has turned to the nation beyond the Christmas speeches. She chose this form of address for the first time during the Gulf War in 1991, then after Princess Diana died in 1997 and finally in 2002 after the death of her mother, “Queen Mum”. On Sunday, however, she made no reference to any of these speeches, but to her first radio speech, which she had made in 1940 as a young princess – together with her sister – during the German air strikes on the kingdom. Many Britons had sent their children to the countryside in those months to bring them to safety. Even back then, the Queen said, the nation “experienced the painful feeling of separation”. But then as now, the British “knew in their hearts that they were doing the right thing”.
Britons are allowed to go outside once a day
Before the monarch, who is currently at Windsor Castle with her husband, Crown Prince Charles of London had already addressed the British. Cured of his viral infection, he said last week that no one could know when this phase would end – “but it will end”. The Queen also closed her television speech with a similarly hopeful tone. “Better times will come back. We will be reunited with our friends, we will be reunited with our families. We will meet again. “
Shortly after the television address, 10 Downing Street announced that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was being hospitalized. It is a precautionary measure. Johnson had tested positive for Covid-19 ten days ago and has suffered from a high fever since then.
British newspapers speculated on Sunday whether the timing of the speech might have to do with the worryingly growing number of corona deaths. The latest figures released for Saturday showed a further increase. The death toll was 621, bringing nearly 5,000 people to the kingdom since the pandemic broke out Virus have died. Health minister Matt Hancock warned the British on Sunday of further restrictions on daily life if the rules of conduct are not followed. The good weather caused numerous Britons to step out at the weekend and enjoy the sunshine. So far, they have been allowed to go out into the fresh air once a day to get physical exercise, as long as they comply with the two meter distance requirement. Members of a household are excluded.
The new Vice Labor Chair Angela Rayner criticized Hancock’s warning. “People with big houses and huge gardens” could easily say something like that, but what about those who would have to live in tiny apartments, asked Rayner and asked for “reasonable and proportionate” decisions. The new party leader Keir Starmer also accused the government of “serious mistakes”. It would have taken too long to increase the number of tests and provide doctors with appropriate protective clothing, he said in the BBC. At the same time, he assured that during the corona crisis there would be no political points and that he would work constructively with the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Starmer and Rayner were the winners of the Labor Party primary election on Saturday.