Queen Elizabeth II

Palm Sunday Broadcast to the UK and Commonwealth on the Coronavirus Outbreak

Original Broadcast on 5 April 2020, Recorded at Windsor Castle, Berkshire County, England


[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]

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.1

I want to thank everyone on the NHS [National Health Service] 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-humored resolve, and of fellow-feeling still characterize this country. The pride in who we are is not a part of our past -- it defines our present and our future.2

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 neighbors, 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 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.

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.3

But for now, I send my thanks and warmest good wishes to you all.

1 Eloquent opening combining back-to-back conduplicatios ("time," "disruption") with climax in artful array.

2 Seems a curiously odd claim -- "The pride in who we are is not a part of our past" -- on a couple of levels because (1) it is objectively false; and (2) because it undermines the sentiments that precede and follow thereafter, namely that the laudable traits and actions that best characterize the British and their response to the pandemic in the immediate present and future will be long and cordially remembered when looking back on the past.

3 Another eloquent moment -- this time combining asyndeton, symploce ("we" "again") parallelism; and reportedly also allusion, esp. with the line "we will meet again" and its surrounding sentiments, which are a reference to the popular British WWII-era song "We'll Meet Again" by Vera Lynn, a well known singer of the period. In addition, the symploce has been catalogued in the Rhetorical Figures in Sound section of the site.

Original Text Source: Royal.uk, 5 April 2020.

Text Note: Lightly modified from the original in conformity with the (as delivered) audio data and to comply with Standard American English spelling and punctuation.

Page Updated: 4/15/20

U.S. Copyright Status: Text = The Royal Household Crown Copyright and Used under an Open Government Licence.
































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