Queen Elizabeth II Urges Self-Discipline in Rare Speech During Pandemic: 'We May Have More Still to Endure'

In a rare televised address to the nation on Sunday evening, Queen Elizabeth II urged the United Kingdom to practice self-discipline amid the coronavirus pandemic and assured the public that "if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it."

Speaking from the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle, the Queen, 93, thanked health care workers across the nation and vowed "we will succeed."

The address was only the fifth one she has made during a national crisis in her 68-year-long reign.

"I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time," she said. "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."

The White Drawing room was selected as the location for the broadcast, as it was large enough to provide the necessary social distancing space between the Queen and her cameraman.

"I want to thank everyone on the NHS frontline, as well as care workers and those carrying out essential roles who selflessly continue their day-to-day duties outside their homes in support of us all," Queen Elizabeth II continued. "I'm sure the nation will join me in ensuring you that what you do is appreciated and every hour of your hard work brings us closer to return to more normal times."

"I also want to thank those of you who are staying at home," she said, "thereby protecting to help 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 in resolute then we will overcome it."

Elizabeth went on to praise Britons for sharing the attributes of "self-discipline, of quiet, good-humored resolve, and of fellow feeling."

"I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge," she said. "Those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any."

The Queen recognized that while self-isolation is challenging, it "presents an opportunity to slow down, pause and reflect in prayer or meditation."

"Today, once again, many will feel a sense of separation from their loved ones," she continued. "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."

Elizabeth concluded her speech by vowing that "we will succeed" against this fast-spreading virus. "That success will belong to every one of us," she added. "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. But for now, I send my thanks and warmest good wishes to you all."

Buckingham Palace was unable to be reached for comment.

The Queen's address comes weeks after Prince Charles, her son and heir to the throne, confirmed he had been infected with COVID-19. The Prince of Wales, 71, has since recovered from his mild case of the illness, which he has called "strange" and "frustrating."

To limit the coronavirus' spread and impact, the U.K. government has advised all people over 70 to remain at home for three months. Elizabeth and her 98-year-old husband, Prince Philip, have been self-isolated in Windsor Castle.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested positive for COVID-19 last month. Although he is still under self-quarantine with a fever, his condition has reportedly improved.

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth II prepares to greet Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev at Buckingham Palace on November 4, 2015 in London, England. Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty