The Queen recorded her Easter audio message from Windsor Castle where she has been isolating with the Duke of Edinburgh for three weeks.
The Queen recorded her Easter audio message from Windsor Castle where she has been isolating with the Duke of Edinburgh for three weeks.

Queen delivers surprise second speech

The Queen has made a national address a second weekend in a row.

The 93-year-old monarch released her first-ever Easter message during her 68-year reign.

She spoke directly to families across the nation coping with the grief of losing loved ones to coronavirus.

And told the nation "by keeping apart we keep others safe" as revellers were being told to remain at home to stop the spread during the Bank Holiday heatwave.

Her words come less than a week since millions gathered round their TVs to listen to the Queen evoke the wartime spirit and pledge "better days will return".

It comes as the death toll for the UK today reached 9,875, with 917 new deaths in the last 24 hours and a total of 78,991 cases.

The Queen recorded her Easter audio message from Windsor Castle where she has been isolating with the Duke of Edinburgh for three weeks.

She said: "Many religions have festivals which celebrate light overcoming darkness.

"Such occasions are often accompanied by the lighting of candles.

"They seem to speak to every culture, and appeal to people of all faiths, and of none.

"They are lit on birthday cakes and to mark family anniversaries, when we gather happily around a source of light. It unites us.

MESSAGE OF HOPE

"As darkness falls on the Saturday before Easter Day, many Christians would normally light candles together.

"In church, one light would pass to another, spreading slowly and then more rapidly as more candles are lit.

"It's a way of showing how the good news of Christ's resurrection has been passed on from the first Easter by every generation until now.

"This year, Easter will be different for many of us, but by keeping apart we keep others safe.

"But Easter isn't cancelled; indeed, we need Easter as much as ever.

"The discovery of the risen Christ on the first Easter Day gave his followers new hope and fresh purpose, and we can all take heart from this.

"We know that coronavirus will not overcome us.

"As dark as death can be - particularly for those suffering with grief - light and life are greater.

"May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future.

"I wish everyone of all faiths and denominations a blessed Easter."

The recording is the first Easter message from the Queen who this year had to cancel her Maundy Thursday ceremony at St George's Chapel, at Windsor Castle.

Instead, memorial coins were sent in the post to 188 pensioners who were due to attend the ceremony to thank them for their work in the community.

The Queen penned a letter to the recipients saying "deeply disappointed" it was cancelled due to coronavirus.

Last night's message was made in the White Drawing Room at the castle and recorded with one other person in the room to reduce any chance Her Majesty could be infected with the virus.

Almost 2,000 Brits have now died in hospital in the past 48 hours after catching the bug.

Yesterday Britain's coronavirus death toll jumped by 980 in 24 hours - making it the biggest rise yet and more deadly than Spain's worst day of their outbreak (961).

The death toll continues to climb as officials believe new COVID-19 infections will peak on Easter Sunday and the NHS is braced for a "tsunami" of cases this weekend.

Last Sunday 24 million people tuned in to hear the Queen's rare TV message.

She directly thanked families for obeying stay-at-home guidance and hailed the incredible lifesaving NHS heroes.

And echoed WWII forces sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn as she promised those coping with forced separation from loved-ones "we will meet again".

This story was originally on The Sun and is republished with permission.

Originally published as Queen delivers surprise second speech


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