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Calm and Caring in a Crisis: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Posted by Caribbean World Magazine on 8 January 2021 | 0 Comments

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8 January 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has reminded the world that coronavirus can endanger one, anytime - including the British royal family. However throughout it all Queen Elizabeth II has reigned supreme as a stabilizing force in an unsettled, uncertain world: monarch, leader, head of state and head of Commonwealth and grandmother in chief.

This year, for just the fifth time in her record 68-year reign, Queen Elizabeth II hit the airwaves for a single-subject broadcast to address to the nation - and beyond. Alluding to the sacrifices made by Britons during World War II, Her Majesty paid tribute to front-line health-care workers and the extraordinary efforts made by citizens to reduce the pandemic threat. Projecting the wisdom of experience, yet with the youthfulness of someone a third of her 94 years, the monarch offered surety and stability at a most uncertain time, wearing her usual pearls and gazing steadily at the camera with her calm air of serenity and reassurance.

At just over four minutes, the address was a brief but rousing in which the queen referred to the importance of a shared humanity in the challenge of uncertain times. She spoke of the “instinctive compassion to heal,” the discipline and sacrifice required of all, and the need to remain united. “Together we are tackling this disease,” she said. “While we may have more still to endure, better days will return.” With her stirring words interspersed with video of National Health Service staff tending to patients, Britons clapping for front-line workers and footage from her first radio address, in 1940, the broadcast was perfectly judged in tone. Praise erupted on social media for #QueensSpeech and the nation felt buoyed and uplifted. It was short-lived as just an hour later, Downing Street announced that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had contracted CV-19 and been hospitalized with “persistent” symptoms.

It has been a long year for the British monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II has been largely isolating since March 2020 with other key royal figures following suit. After testing positive for the virus, 71-year-old heir to the throne Prince Charles based himself at his Scottish estate, Birkhall and made a recovery to full health. The Queen, housed at Windsor since the outbreak, has just a handful of staff in attendance and the company of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, 98, and of course her beloved dogs. Indeed, it wasn’t until June 2020 that the 94-year old monarch was spotted for the first time out on horseback in the grounds of Windsor Castle. Her Majesty was pictured on a 14-year-old Fell Pony called Balmoral Fern - a reassuring photo for the UK public who hadn’t seen her since her March 2020 public picture on her drive from Buckingham Palace to Berkshire. In the photograph, Queen Elizabeth can be seen in the company of one of her two “Dorgis” Candy or Vulcan, both a cross breed between a Corgi and a Dachshund.

In October 2020, like many of her subjects on home soil, HRH HM Queen Elizabeth gradually returned to work and carried out her first public appearance outside of a royal residence since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early March. She travelled to one of the nation’s top scientific labs to discuss efforts to battle the coronavirus and was joined by   grandson Prince William. COVID-19 advice was observed maintaining the correct two-meter social distance throughout the visit. Queen Elizabeth unveiled a plaque to officially open the new $39 million Energetics Analysis Centre, a facility that is also used by scientists for counterterrorist work.

Her presence and continued hard work ethic is a powerful unifyingmight in a crisis, and Queen Elizabeth II has once again reminded us that our monarchy is a force for good. She has inspired confidence and calmed fears by appealing to shared values and celebrating our support of one another. Quietly she is also trimmingroyal costs to cope to the $45 million hit from a drop-in revenue due to coronavirus whilst there are rumoured to be Zoom calls with charities and clapping at Windsor for carers. Under her leadership, the royal family is navigating the new normal too - working from home, staying away from the crowds, inspiring her subjects and boosting the morale of a nation.