While the British royal family doesn’t have much of a presence in everyday life Down Under, HRH Elizabeth II is still the queen of Australia. The 93-year-old monarch is rather a reserved sort, usually only addressing her subjects on Christmas day. However, as Covid-19 continues to impact millions of people across the Commonwealth, her majesty has reached out to offer some words of wisdom, encouragement and solidarity to Australians.
The British public were offered a televised address on Sunday evening, in which the Queen advised those under lockdown in the UK to take the opportunity to “slow down and reflect”, reassuring Britons that better days would return. "We will see our friends again. We will see our families again. We will meet again.” You can watch the full speech on the BBC's YouTube channel.
Aussies were offered some special words of comfort in the form of a message from the Queen, acknowledging the many traumas “resilient” Australians have endured in recent months.
“At a time when people across the Commonwealth are experiencing a profound and rapid change to their lives, the pain of lost loved ones, and an understandable concern about the future, my thoughts are with all Australians.
Whilst it can be difficult to remain hopeful in such challenging times, especially following the summer’s devastating bushfires and recent flooding, I am confident that the stoic and resilient nature of the Australian people will rise to the challenge.
I extend my sincere admiration to the many Australians who work tirelessly to help those affected, provide essential services for their fellow citizens, and continue to care for the most vulnerable.
You will remain in my prayers in the coming months, with the resolute knowledge that with hard work, faith and unity, we will rise to the challenges ahead and ensure the health and vitality of all Australia’s communities.
I send my thanks and warmest good wishes to you all.”
Early indications are that the rate of infection in Australia is beginning to slow thanks to the many containment measures now in place, although officials – both federal and state – have urged Aussies to continue observing physical distancing protocols until further notice. Currently, gatherings of more than two people are prohibited and you may only leave your home for specific reasons.