On a tough day for Britain, in which Downing Street announced Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted into the hospital for complications due to coronavirus, Queen Elizabeth II emerged for a rare address. Not only were loyal subjects looking for guidance, but the queen enticed a global audience looking for reassurance from the 93-year-old matriarch during this pandemic.
This was only the fifth time the queen has conducted such an address in her 68-year reign. Others included a live broadcast after the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, and a statement at the beginning of England's involvement in the Iraq War.
While more of a figurehead than political stakeholder, the queen provides messaging that does not necessarily inform, but inspires and rallies the public. It's important for a public figure to know their place in a crisis, as well as the tone and content an audience is expecting from them, when creating messaging.
The BBC reported that the speech was written by the queen, herself, with help from her private secretary Sir Edward Young.
In the speech, Queen Elizabeth encouraged citizens and the world that uniting, following protocols and coming together would help us to overcome this disease.
"This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavor, 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," the Queen said.
She engaged older Britons, referencing WWII and her first broadcast in 1940, when at age 14, she addressed children evacuated from their homes for their own safety. The separation of families during social distancing and current quarantine issues rang familiar.
"Today, once again, many will feel a painful sense of separation from their loved ones," the queen said. "But now, as then, we know deep down that it is the right thing to do."
Queen Elizabeth also inspired gratitude by thanking healthcare workers for their service, as well as citizens for staying home, even in the midst of financial turmoil. She ended her speech with an encouraging acknowledgement that the crisis would end, and the reunions would be worth the temporary setbacks.
"We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return," she said. "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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