Over the weekend, Queen Elizabeth II gave a much-needed address to the United Kingdom, channeling the nation's wartime spirit in a call to arms for togetherness amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The broadcast was only the fifth time the longest-reigning monarch in British history (68 years) had ever given such an address outside of her annual Christmas Day message.
"I'm speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time, a time of disruption in the life of our country, a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all," the monarch, 93, began.
"I want to thank everyone on the [National Health Service] frontline as well as care workers and those carrying out essential roles who selflessly continue their day-to-day duties outside the home in support of us all. I'm sure the nation will join me in assuring you that what you do is appreciated, and every hour of your hard work brings us closer to a return to more normal times. I also want to thank those of you who are staying at home, thereby helping to protect the vulnerable, and sparing many families the pain already felt by those who have lost loved ones."
Accompanied by videos of people living in the United Kingdom who, in the last few weeks, have posted clips of friends and neighbors showing support for health care workers, the queen reassured citizens that if they "remain united and resolute, then we will overcome [the virus]."
She continued, "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 the Britains of this generation were as strong as any, that the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet, good-humored resolve, and of fellow feeling still characterize this country. The pride in who we are is not a part of our past, it defines our present and our future."
Furthermore, the monarch said this moment in time will be remembered "as an expression of our national spirit, and its symbol will be the rainbows drawn by children."
"Across the Commonwealth and around the world, we have seen heartwarming stories of people coming together to help others, be it through delivering food parcels and medicines, checking on neighbors, or converting businesses to help the relief effort," she added. "And though self-isolating may at times be hard, many people of all faiths and of none are discovering that it presents an opportunity to slow down, pause, and reflect in prayer or meditation."
"We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return," she concluded. "We will be with our friends again. We will be with our families again. We will meet again. But for now, I send my thanks and warmest good wishes to you all."
Indeed, children in the United Kingdom and around the world are continuing to share beautiful images of rainbows, also a symbol of LGBTQ Pride, which have become a symbol for the growing COVID-19 response.