Queen says 'coronavirus will not overcome us' in first-ever Easter address of her reign
In her first-ever Easter address to the nation, Queen Elizabeth II said the country needed Easter now more than ever, and how it was important to stay apart during this time to keep others safe in a recorded voice message.
This is the first time the Queen has addressed people on the occasion of Easter in her 68 year-long reign, and she did so while being quarantined at Windsor Castle with the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip. The recorded message came as the death toll due to coronavirus in UK reached 8,958, according to WHO, with 70,276 confirmed cases.
She said, "Many religions have festivals which celebrate light overcoming darkness. Such occasions are often accompanied by the lighting of candles. They seem to speak to every culture and appeal to people of all faiths, and of none. They are lit on birthday cakes and to mark family anniversaries, when we gather happily around a source of light. It unites us."
In the audio message, she continued, "As darkness falls on the Saturday before Easter Day, many Christians would normally light candles together. In church, one light would pass to another, spreading slowly and then more rapidly as more candles are lit. It’s a way of showing how the good news of Christ’s resurrection has been passed on from the first Easter by every generation until now.”
She concluded by saying, "This year, Easter will be different for many of us but by keeping apart we keep others safe. But Easter isn’t cancelled; indeed, we need Easter as much as ever. The discovery of the risen Christ on the first Easter Day gave his followers new hope and fresh purpose, and we can all take heart from this."
Speaking directly to families coping with the grief of losing loved ones, she said, "We know that coronavirus will not overcome us. As dark as death can be – particularly for those suffering with grief – light and life are greater. May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future."
The recording of the message was done at the White Drawing Room with the sound engineer in the next room. Precautions similar to the ones that were taken for her recent televised speech were in place.