The Queen’s speech: Photo by Robin Pope/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Speaking from Windsor Castle on Sunday, Queen Elizabeth II delivered a reassuring and inspiring address to the British public. Amidst the global coronavirus pandemic, she took the opportunity to inspire and encourage. And, while it was clearly directed at the UK and Commonwealth, there are many lessons to be learned and sentiments to be shared in the Queen’s speech.
It has become clear that, even with the coronavirus being considered a global crisis, countries are approaching the outbreak in many different ways. Though, what we have in common is that we’re all trying to treat the patients, curb the spread, and manage the panic that understandably sets in during unprecedented times. Here in SA, our 21-day lockdown is one of the strictest around the world. And it’s easy to become wrapped up in our own experiences. Though, as the Queen’s speech shows, we have more in common with the rest of the world than we think. And her majesty’s wise words hit home, even from thousands of miles away.
A moving address
Here’s a snippet of the Queen’s speech…
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Her Majesty The Queen addresses the UK and Commonwealth in a special broadcast recorded at Windsor Castle. . ‘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.’ . Watch The Queen’s broadcast in full on our IGTV channel.
It has been many years since the Queen last made a special broadcast, but – even at 93 – she hasn’t lost her touch. Eloquent, evocative and encouraging, the Queen is a pleasure to listen to. And her words are bound to bring a lump to your throat.
What can we take from the Queen’s speech?
There are, of course, many relatable sentiments and shared experiences mentioned in the address. The British monarch accurately describes the coronavirus outbreak as having brought, “grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all.” Especially in SA, where so many of us rely on the income of small businesses, this is particularly poignant.
In the Queen’s speech, she praises and thanks the healthcare workers on the front line and those still delivering essential services to the people of the country. She says, “what you do is appreciated and every hour of your hard work brings us closer to a return to more normal times”. Our medical professionals are working tirelessly to test as many people as possible and bring relief to COVID-19 sufferers.
At the tender age of 20, the Queen delivered another key speech in 1947.
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“I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service” – Princess Elizabeth, 1947. . 🌍The past year has marked the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the #commonwealth . Her Majesty, Head of the Commonwealth, made a lifelong commitment to its service on her 21st birthday. . Since the modern Commonwealth was born on 26 April 1949, member countries have grown from 8 to 54 in 2020. . Swipe ⬅️ to see 📷 of Her Majesty meeting representatives of all 54 Commonwealth Nations.
We’re fighting it together
The Queen does her bit to unify people around the world. She says that across the globe, “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.” It’s sometimes the smallest things like checking on a neighbour or sharing out hand sanitiser that make the biggest difference.
And, ever-conscious of the international implications of coronavirus, the Queen acknowledges the unique nature of this particular crisis. She says, “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.”
And, as if not to be brought down, she maintains that, “We will succeed”. And when we do, ” that success will belong to every one of us,” she says.
An encouraging final statement
Watching the Queen’s speech live, we were reminded of the other important speeches we’ve heard recently – those from our own brave president, Cyril Ramaphosa. And, as we sat glued to our TV screens or radios, listening to his powerful and distinct addresses, we were grateful to have such a leader at the helm of our great nation.
Now, more than ever, we need guidance and encouragement from the world’s prominent leaders.
So, in a moving and meaningful final statement, the Queen once again showed her skill as a leader. While encapsulating the worries of the world, she also brought us hope.
She said, “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.”
Watch the full address here
By Features Editor Stephanie van der Plank