The Queen, in an historic televised address, will say she hopes the coronavirus crisis will show that “Britons of this generation were as strong as any” as the country responds to the challenges it faces.
In her message, recorded at Windsor Castle, the 93-year-old monarch will 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.”
In what the palace describes as deeply personal words, the Queen will praise the work of those on the frontline; NHS workers, carers and other staff keeping the country going.
Describing how proud she has been to see Britain pull together, she will say: “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 recorded at Windsor Castle, from where she’s been kept up to date as the crisis has unfolded.
Because of the scale of the COVID-19 outbreak and the impact on the country, it has always been a case of when and not if Her Majesty would record a television message.
Both the palace and No 10 would have decided now was the right time for her to speak, as the cases of coronavirus keep going up.
In a message the government is keen to reinforce, the Queen will thank those who are following the official guidance to stay at home to protect the vulnerable.
An address like this is incredibly rare.
Apart from her annual Christmas message, the Queen has only made this kind of televised address on four other occasions during her 68-year reign – during the Gulf War, after the deaths of Princess Diana and of the Queen Mother, and to mark her Diamond Jubilee.
This one is even more unusual because of the conditions under which it was filmed.
The white drawing room was chosen because it was large enough to allow sufficient distance between the Queen and the only cameraman who was in the room with her, wearing a face mask and gloves.
The rest of the technical crew were in another room connected by speakers and monitors.
The broadcast only went ahead after specific advice was given by the Medical Household, to mitigate any risk to the Queen or others, because of the strict guidance on social distancing.
In what was a logistically challenge message to film, the Queen is said to have understood that it had to be done in this way because of the advice that was given.
In 1940 Princess Elizabeth made her first ever broadcast from Windsor Castle to other Second World War evacuees.
Eighty years later, from the same place, she will again address the nation.
As Britain’s longest reigning monarch she will reflect on her own experiences in other difficult times, at a moment when she knows her country again needs her sympathy, support and a sense of hope.
The palace will not confirm if she has been tested for the virus.