Queen Elizabeth II urged Britons to “rise to the challenge” of the coronavirus pandemic in a rare address to the nation Sunday night.
“I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,’’ she said, speaking from her residence in Windsor.
The Queen thanked workers at the National Health Service as well as those continuing to work essential jobs.
“Every hour of your hard work brings us closer to a return to normal times,” the Queen said, going on to add her thanks for every Briton who is staying at home.
“I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge,” she said.
The Queen left London to stay in the Windsor castle as the COVID-19 pandemic affects Britain.
Her son, Prince Charles, has been diagnosed with a mild case of the virus.
Queen Elizabeth II records an annual Christmas message to Britain, but very rarely addresses the country in Sunday’s fashion. Other instances of such an address by the 93-year-old monarch include one before the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997 and after the Queen Mother’s death in 2002.
“While we have faced challenges before, this one is different,” the Queen said, noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly all nations around the globe.
The United Kingdom has recorded more than 48,000 cases of COVID-19 and nearly 5,000 resulting deaths. Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested positive for the virus last week and is isolating at home.