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Queen to urge ‘self-discipline and resolve’

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Image copyright PA Media Image caption The Queen will reflect on the “enormous changes” to daily life The Queen is to stress the value of self-discipline and resolve during the coronavirus pandemic in a special address to the nation on Sunday.In a rare speech, she will acknowledge the grief, pain and financial difficulties Britons are…

The Queen during a visit to the MI5 headquarters on 25 MarchImage copyright
PA Media

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The Queen will reflect on the “enormous changes” to daily life

The Queen is to stress the value of self-discipline and resolve during the coronavirus pandemic in a special address to the nation on Sunday.

In a rare speech, she will acknowledge the grief, pain and financial difficulties Britons are facing during this “time of disruption”.

She will also thank NHS staff and key workers, and emphasise the important role individuals can play.

Her address will be broadcast on TV, radio and social media at 20:00 BST.

The Queen is expected to say: “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.”

She will add: “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 that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any.

“That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country.”

The message was filmed by a single cameraman wearing protective equipment, with all the other technical staff in another room.

It will be intended to reassure and rally people, BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said.

The decision to deliver the address has been made “in close consultation with Downing Street”, he added.

It comes as the number of deaths in the UK reached 4,313 on Saturday – up by 708 on Friday’s figure.

Of those, 212 were in the Midlands, compared with 127 in London – until now the worst affected part of the UK.

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Kensington Palace

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The Queen conducted her weekly audience with the prime minister on the telephone last week.

A five-year-old child with underlying health conditions is among those whose deaths were most recently reported.

In the government’s daily briefing on Saturday, NHS England medical director Stephen Powis said there was some evidence that social distancing measures were reducing transmission, and that the latest figures suggested new cases had begun to “stabilise”.

However, he stressed that it was not the time to “take our foot off the pedal”.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in self-isolation in Downing Street after testing positive for coronavirus, while his pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds tweeted that she has spent a week in bed with symptoms.

The Queen’s address will come less than a week after the Prince of Wales came out of self-isolation, following his diagnosis of coronavirus.

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Media captionPrince Charles opens the UK’s first emergency field hospital to deal with coronavirus patients.

Prince Charles, 71, spent seven days self-isolating in Scotland after testing positive and displaying mild symptoms.

On Friday, he opened the NHS Nightingale Hospital in London via video link.

Buckingham Palace previously said the Queen last saw her son, the heir to the throne, on 12 March, and was “in good health”.

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