In Brief

‘Her finest moment’ - reaction to the Queen’s coronavirus address

Monarch is praised for giving comfort to the nation in historic speech

The Queen has been widely praised after she said the UK “will succeed” in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

In the rare address, Her Majesty thanked people for following government lockdown guidelines and praised those who are “coming together to help others”.  The Times says the Queen “evoked the wartime spirit” to “rally the nation’s spirits”.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Camilla Tominey, says that in “523 words, the Queen gave us comfort, hope and a united resolve that we need now more than ever”.

Tominey added: “Forget Joe Wicks’ workouts or Carol Vorderman’s maths, here was the Queen of them all, delivering her own lesson, not just to the home-schoolers but their anxious parents, and their exiled grandparents and great-grandparents”.

Broadcaster Piers Morgan tweeted his praise. “A magnificent speech from a magnificent lady,” he wrote seconds after the speech ended. “Thank you, Your Majesty - this was your finest moment as our Monarch.” Also on Twitter, the comedian David Walliams shared a picture of the Queen and tweeted: “Love her.”

Digging deeper, The Spectator said “she played her ace card – her longevity”. By invoking the 1940s, the “nonagenarian monarch was subtly providing us with historical context against which to measure our current lockdown and self-isolation” and to remind us that the “privations of her wartime generation were greater and went on for longer”.

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There was praise across the pond, too. The Los Angeles Times said she “nailed” her speech, adding: “She offered no bluster, no drama, no scolding reminder that only six feet of distance stand between you and possible death.”

“But one thing was notable by its absence,” notes John Crace of The Guardian. “Although it’s her job to be apolitical, there was no mention of the government’s efforts or requests to follow official advice. In Boris, she doesn’t trust. But then who does?”

Noting that the Queen had forecast that younger Britons are “as strong as any,” The Independent’s Sean O’Grady wondered whether the younger generation would justify her hopes. “Is this generation up to the task?” he asked. 

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