The Queen will urge people to rise to the unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, speaking of her faith that this generation will prove themselves "as strong as any" that have come before.

Invoking the spirit that saw Britain through the Second World War, the 93-year-old monarch will talk in a speech Sunday night (Monday morning NZT) of her hope that Britons will be able to "take pride in how they responded", drawing on the traits of "self-discipline, quiet good-humoured resolve and fellow-feeling" that characterise the UK.

The rallying cry will be broadcasted live on TVNZ Breakfast on Monday morning.

"This special address will air part way through Breakfast's show at 7am (NZST) - the same time as the United Kingdom's broadcast," a TVNZ statement said.


It will be only the fourth message (outside of the traditional Christmas Day message) HM The Queen has delivered during her 68-year reign.

She will tell tens of millions of viewers across the world: "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."

According to British media, the piece was recorded in extraordinary circumstances at Windsor Castle with a sole cameraman dressed in protective clothing.

The Queen will urge Britain to rise to the unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. Photo / Getty Images.
The Queen will urge Britain to rise to the unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. Photo / Getty Images.

A senior official from No 10 said The Queen's intervention was designed to "lift the nation's spirits" as the Government urged people to follow lockdown rules designed to slow the spread of Covid-19 and prevent the NHS being overwhelmed.

It comes as the death toll of those who tested positive rose by 708, taking the UK total to 4313. They included a five-year-old with an underlying condition, who became the country's youngest victim.

Prof Stephen Powis, the NHS medical director, said hospital admissions from the virus had shown signs of "plateauing" in London, the worst-hit area of the country, and new cases had recently "stabilised", as he warned the UK not to "take our foot off the pedal".

It emerged that 13 residents at a Glasgow care home had died over the past week following a suspected outbreak.


Watford General Hospital, north-west of the capital, closed its doors to all patients except women in labour, blaming a technical problem with its oxygen supply.

Carrie Symonds, the Prime Minister's fiancée, revealed she had been in bed for the past week with coronavirus symptoms but was "now on the mend". She wrote on Twitter of her "worry" about having Covid-19 while she was pregnant, as Boris Johnson also remained in isolation with a high temperature.

Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, revealed that a team from University College London working with Mercedes Benz was producing 250 new breathing aids for Covid-19 patients a day, with plans to increase the number to 1,000 per day this week. Meanwhile, a shipment of 300 ventilators arrived from China yesterday. The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

Ministers updated guidance to allow firms to furlough staff "with caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus", to help those struggling to work and care for children not currently attending school.

The Queen's address was filmed at Windsor Castle by a single cameraman wearing protective equipment who stood a safe distance from the monarch, while technical staff worked from the next room. The four-minute broadcast will be aired at 8pm tonight.

Prince Charles, with Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall in the background. Photo / AP.
Prince Charles, with Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall in the background. Photo / AP.

The message was recorded in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle, where the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, 98, are living in semi-isolation to protect them from coronavirus.

The Prince of Wales, 71, has already contracted the virus, though was well enough to open the temporary Nightingale Hospital at London's ExCeL centre via video link on Friday.

A senior No 10 official said: "The Queen is the best judge of when to talk to the country and we absolutely agree that now is the right time. We have asked the country to make huge sacrifices and life is very difficult at the moment for a great number of people. Hearing from Her Majesty at this time is an important way of helping to lift the nation's spirits."