As the Queen gave a special message in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, she harked back to her own childhood in the Second World War, and quoted the Forces’ sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn.
On Sunday evening, the Queen said: “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.”
The final words echoed the song of Dame Vera, who rose to fame during the Second World War and lifted the spirits of Britons, and soldiers, during the Blitz.
The chorus to the song, recorded by Dame Vera in 1942, is: “We'll meet again, Don't know where, Don't know when, But I know we'll meet again some sunny day.”
Speaking to Saga magazine in 2009, Dame Vera said: “I always tried to choose cheerful songs, that soldiers missing their wives and sweethearts could relate to.
“We weren't psychologists, but we understood that it was important to express the right meaning, and we put a lot of effort into getting the songs right.”
She didn’t get an official hit when it was first released, because the chart did not exist, but a compilation album of her songs which was released in 2009 went to number one, making her the oldest living artist to get to the UK top spot. She was 93.
The classic song has been covered by Rod Stewart, Sheridan Smith, and Katherine Jenkins, among others.
Dame Vera released her own message of hope just over two weeks ago, as she celebrated her 103rd birthday.
In a video message she said: “We are facing a very challenging time at the moment, and I know many people are worried about the future.
“I’m greatly encouraged that despite these struggles we have seen people joining together.
“They are supporting one another, reaching into the homes of their neighbours by offering assistance to the elderly and sending messages of support and singing into the streets.
“Music is so good for the soul, and during these hard times we must all help each other to find moments of joy. Keep smiling and keep singing.”
In another message, calling on people to pull together, she said: “I am reminded of World War Two, when our country faced the darkest of times and yet, despite our struggles, pulled together for the common good and we faced the common threat together as a country, and as a community of countries that joined as one right across the world.”
Dame Vera was born in East Ham, London, and rose to fame while performing for the troops during the war in countries including Egypt, India and Burma.
Her best-known songs include The White Cliffs Of Dover and There’ll Always Be An England.
The Queen also spoke of her own involvement in World War Two. She mentioned her first ever broadcast, as Princess Elizabeth, with her sister, the late Princess Margaret.
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Broadcasting from Windsor Castle aged 14, the then princess spoke to children around the country to offer comfort.
“It reminds me of the very first broadcast I made, in 1940, helped by my sister. We, as children, spoke from here at Windsor to children who had been evacuated from their homes and sent away for their own safety.
“Today, once again, many will feel a painful sense of separation from their loved ones. But now, as then, we know, deep down, that it is the right thing to do,” she said on Sunday evening.
During her Children’s Hour broadcast on October 13 1940, Princess Elizabeth sent her best wishes to the children who had been evacuated from Britain to America, Canada and elsewhere.
In the crackling radio message, she said: “Thousands of you in this country have had to leave your homes and be separated from your fathers and mothers.
“My sister Margaret Rose and I feel so much for you as we know from experience what it means to be away from those we love most of all.”
Margaret, then aged 10, joined in to say goodbye.
The Queen went on to serve in the Army, training as a mechanic.