Coronavirus: 'Nobody else alive could have done that' – Queen wins praise for her message

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·Royal Correspondent
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Mia Wilson, aged 12 from Derbyshire watches Queen Elizabeth II deliver her address to the nation and the Commonwealth in relation to the coronavirus epidemic. (Photo by Scott Wilson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Mia Wilson, 12, from Derbyshire, watches Queen Elizabeth II deliver her address to the nation and the Commonwealth. (Getty Images)

The Queen’s special broadcast has been praised from political, celebrity and royal quarters as she thanked NHS workers for keeping the country going and urged others to stay indoors.

The Queen gave an address on Sunday evening, only the fifth time she has given a message outside her annual Christmas broadcast, as the nation and the world battles coronavirus.

It drew 24 million viewers across all platforms, not quite beating her prime minister, whose special message announcing the lockdown in the UK was watched by 28 million people.

But Her Majesty’s message prompted an outpouring of love from her loyal fans – and from those not usually so enamoured by her.

Former England striker David Beckham posted a picture of the Queen and an excerpt from the speech alongside two green hearts, matching the colour of her dress.

Alastair Campbell, former spin doctor for the Labour Party, told Jeremy Vine: “I think there's probably nobody else alive who could have done that in that way.”

Read more: Queen's historic coronavirus speech prompts outpouring of praise for monarch

Royal photographer Chris Jackson called the message “inspiring”, while hairdresser Sam McKnight shared her words “we’ll meet again”.

French fashion editor Carine Roitfeld wrote “God save the Queen” alongside a picture of Her Royal Highness.

“God I love Mrs Queen,” Jeremy Clarkson tweeted.

Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid said: “Wonderful address by the Queen – exactly the words we needed.”

Victoria Coren Mitchell, host of Only Connect, said on Twitter that the speech was “terrific”.

Comedian Rob Delaney said despite not being a monarchist, he appreciated the Queen’s message because of her experience.

He said: “She’s 93, and remembers World War II, creation of the NHS and much more.”

Read more: Queen's message: Four other times the Queen gave a special address

Across the pond, Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness watched the message too, sharing a GIF from the show of him looking wistful.

The Queen’s family has also praised her words.

Speaking on ITV, Zara Tindall, the Queen’s granddaughter, said: “Obviously, we’re very proud and what she said is completely, 100% what the country needed.

"I hope everyone listens and we can try and get back to normal and, as we’re trying to do today, support our NHS as much as we can."

Read more: Coronavirus: Queen's speech to the nation watched by 24 million

Sarah Ferguson, the Queen’s former daughter-in-law, wrote on Instagram: “Her Majesty’s words touched my core and inspired us to never give up. To unite as we have before. To never forget the British humour and to remember...

“We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.”

Princess Eugenie shared a picture of her grandmother on Instagram and wrote: “Thank you for your words, they bring us together and unite us in our effort to overcome.”

In the political sphere, there was praise from mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

“Great to see our hardworking heroes, working flat-out on the frontline, front & centre of the #QueensSpeech,” he wrote.

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Former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said: “The Queen’s own quiet resolution on how we will see the other side of this and ‘meet again’ was reassuring, I thought.

“Didn’t know I needed to hear that, but it turns out I did.”

New Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: “The Queen speaks for the whole country and our determination to defeat the coronavirus.”

The Queen’s message came after the UK recorded a total death toll of 4,394, as of 5pm on Saturday. Soon after her address, Downing Street confirmed the prime minister had gone to hospital for tests following his positive test for COVID-19.

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