The 93-year-old monarch, who was moved to Windsor Castle with Prince Philip to begin an early Easter break on March 19, acknowledged the anxiety and difficulties many people have faced not just due to infections, but also with regard to the future. Many of us worldwide have begun social distancing, self-isolation, quarantine and in some cases, are in lockdowns in an effort to defeat COVID-19 in what many are calling an unprecedented moment.
"As Philip and I arrive at Windsor today, we know that many individuals and families across the United Kingdom, and around the world, are entering a period of great concern and uncertainty," the monarch said.
"We are all being advised to change our normal routines and regular patterns of life for the greater good of the communities we live in and, in particular, to protect the most vulnerable within them."
As we know, the Queen is no stranger to forging ahead despite adversity. She's learned quite a lot about the resilience of the human spirit in her many years. Her Majesty lived through the Second World War, worked as a mechanic during that conflict and has maintained a steady hand throughout the 68 years she's spent on the throne, even in times of great difficulty.
"At times such as these, I am reminded that our nation's history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts with a focus on the common goal," she continued.
Acknowledging that science, accurate information, a collaborative effort and the world's medical systems will defeat the virus, the Queen then thanked front-line health care workers, those researching COVID-19 and experts striving to produce a vaccine. She also encouraged those reading her words to do their part to maintain social distance, isolate and stay in lockdown if they're ordered as a way to help those working to destroy this public health threat.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) March 19, 2020
"We are enormously thankful for the expertise and commitment of our scientists, medical practitioners and emergency and public services; but now more than any time in our recent past, we all have a vitally important part to play as individuals – today and in the coming days, weeks and months," she said.
"Many of us will have to find new ways of staying in touch with each other and making sure that loved ones are safe. I am certain that we are up to that challenge. You can be assured that my family and I stand ready to play our part."
The Queen's message of hope comes as she has altered her schedule in light of the coronavirus pandemic this week. Several major events on her calendar have been postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic. Her Majesty will not attend the Maundy Thursday service at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on April 9. The Garden Parties she hosts at Buckingham Palace each year will be cancelled. The state visit of Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako has also been postponed for the time being.
Elsewhere, other members of the Royal Family continue to alter their plans, too. Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla's tour of Cyprus and Jordan, which was to take place this week, was postponed, as was the Duke of Cornwall's visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi have cancelled their wedding reception, which was to take place May 29 after their nuptials. They are still scheduled to wed that day, but are exploring whether their ceremony should be private and feature only close friends and family.
Like us, royals are not immune to coronavirus – just this week, two members of European royal families tested positive for the illness.
Karl von Habsburg, the ancestral Archduke of Austria, revealed his diagnosis on March 17. Prince Albert of Monaco said he, too, had tested positive two days later. Karl described the illness as "annoying" and said he is "fine," but is following doctors' advice. Albert is still working from home and the Prince's Palace of Monaco says the 62-year-old is in good health and following medical orders as well.
As of this writing, the World Health Organization says there have been more than 207,000 cases of coronavirus in 166 countries. Canada has 736 of those cases, according to Health Canada. The illness has caused more than 8,600 deaths worldwide, the WHO says.