The United Kingdom is in the middle of a massive covid-19 related lockdown, one shuttering businesses and emptying streets nationwide. This has been a boon for wild goats, but it has not yet slowed the virus’s spread, prompting a rare television appearance from Queen Elizabeth II urging Brits to keep calm and carry on (safely inside one’s own home).
The Washington Post reports that on Sunday, QE2 gave a televised four-minute speech addressing the coronavirus pandemic, calling it a “disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all.” She thanked healthcare and essential workers for staying on the frontlines, as well as Brits who were doing their part by staying home to flatten the curve.
“I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge,” she said. “And those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humored resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterize this country.”
Not that the Queen’s words will do anything to slow the pandemic, or that a televised speech will make up for the fact that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson initially suggested the United Kingdom let the disease run rampant to build herd immunity. (That move would have killed thousands, if not millions of British citizens, FWIW.) Still, she’s only made a handful of national broadcasts since she ascended the throne in the 1950s, and there’s historical significance here, considering her father, King George VI, is well-remembered for his September 1939 speech addressing Britain’s entrance into World War II.