This was also her third such address to the nation in 2020 and her words of hope were as prescient as those spoken 80 years ago when she, as Princess Elizabeth, undertook her first broadcast.
And a socially distanced Windsor Castle, where she spent the war years, was an appropriate setting for a speech which praised the nation’s “quiet, indomitable spirit”. It was striking, however, as families adapt to Covid’s changing circumstances and are separated from loved ones, that the Queen, as the Church of England’s head, should highlight the example set by other faiths during their religious celebrations.
This was a speech of national unity – another moment of history and also quiet reflection – as she drew inspiration from the selfless story of the Good Samaritan and the lamps of hope now being shone by frontline workers 200 years after the birth of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale.
After all, this is the busiest Christmas in the history of the NHS. It’s also a poignant one for so many grieving families as Covid claims its 70,000th person in the UK. And, as the Queen praised the kindness of all those strangers whose acts of humanity – some simple, some heroic – have strengthened communities, the fact she, too, has been inspired by such goodwill will help renew the resolve of people to continue supporting the less fortunate or lonely.
For, while public health rules have limited the public appearances undertaken by the Queen and Royal family this year, their participation in online events means that they have, in many respects, never been closer to the people. Or, in the Queen’s case, so indomitable and so inspirational at all times.
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