The Rare Times The Queen Has Addressed The Commonwealth
In a rare move by the monarch, Queen Elizabeth II will make a historic address about the coronavirus pandemic to the Commonwealth in the early hours of Monday morning.
The Royal Family has been impacted by the pandemic after Prince Charles tested positive to COVID-19 nearly two weeks ago.
The Queen and Prince Philip have been at Windsor Castle since last month, with Buckingham Palace saying both were in good health.
Monday’s — Sunday local time — address will be just the fifth time in history the monarch has made a televised speech outside of her annual Christmas speech.
Three of those have been during times of great sadness and stress, while the most recent was one of celebration.
1991 - Gulf War
The Queen addressed the U.K. and Commonwealth after Allied land forces began an offensive against Iraqi forces in Kuwait during the Gulf War.
At the time, the prerecorded speech was called “unprecedented” by The Times.
The monarch asked for the Commonwealth to “unite in praying” for the Allied coalition.
She also said she hoped success would be “as swift as it is certain” and that it was "achieved with as small a cost to human life and suffering as possible”.
1997 - Tribute to Diana Princess of Wales
The Queen paid tribute to the Princess of Wales in a broadcast from Buckingham Palace on the eve of Diana’s funeral.
The memorable speech was made live on television and radio in front of the thousands of flowers that had been placed at the gates of Buckingham Palace by the public.
The Queen remembered Diana as “an exceptional and gifted human being”.
"I admired and respected her — for her energy and commitment to others, and especially for her devotion to her two boys,” the Queen said.
"No-one who knew Diana will ever forget her. Millions of others who never met her, but felt they knew her, will remember her.”
2002 - After the Queen Mother’s Death
Queen Elizabeth recorded a message to thank the Commonwealth for their condolences after the death of her mum, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.
The Queen Mother, born Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, died at the age of 101 on March 30, 2002.
On the day before her mum’s funeral, Queen Elizabeth said the support she had received from the nation and Commonwealth had been “overwhelming”.
“I have drawn great comfort from so many individual acts of kindness and respect,” she said.
The Queen spoke of her mum’s “zest for life” and how it remained with her until the very end.
“I count myself fortunate that my mother was blessed with a long and happy life,” she said.
2012 - Diamond Jubilee
The most recent address by the Queen to the Commonwealth was to mark the Diamond Jubilee of her reign.
Commemorative events were held throughout the Commonwealth of Nations to celebrate her sitting on the throne for 60 years.
The Queen called the celebrations a “humbling experience” that had “touched her deeply, during the pre-planned address.
“I hope that memories of this year’s happy events will brighten our lives for many years to come,” she said.