Queen Elizabeth to record rare televised address on COVID-19

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II will address the nation on the coronavirus pandemic Sunday, marking the fourth time she’s ever recorded a special message.

Queen Elizabeth has given only three non-Christmas televised addresses in her 68-year reign. File Photo by Hugo Philpott

The address was recorded at Windsor Castle, where the 93-year-old monarch is staying with her husband, Prince Philip, the duke of Edinburgh. It will air at 8 p.m. BST on Sunday on television, radio and social media channels.

On March 19, she called for solidarity among Britons to “focus on the common goal.”

Queen Elizabeth gives televised addresses each year on Christmas Day, but Sunday’s message will be the fourth time she’s directly spoken to the public on TV outside of the holiday.

She appeared on TV ahead of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth, the queen mother, in 2002; after the death of Princess Diana in 1997; and during the Gulf War in 1991.

The queen’s eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, was diagnosed with COVID-19 last week and was quarantined at his London residence, Clarence House, with mild symptoms. He was OK’d to leave isolation this week after recovering.

“As we are all learning, this is a strange, frustrating and often distressing experience when the presence of family and friends is no longer possible and the normal structures of life are suddenly removed,” he said during a video message. “My wife and I are thinking particularly of all those who have lost their loved ones in such very difficult and abnormal circumstances, and of those having to endure sickness, isolation and loneliness.”

Britain had more than 38,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and at least 3,600 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University as of Friday afternoon.

ByDanielle Haynes