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  • Luke Johnston

We will meet again - Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II has addressed the UK & Commonwealth in what is only her fifth address in her 68 year reign as monarch.

The Queen has said the UK "will succeed" in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

She thanked people for following government rules and staying at home whilst also thanking key workers, saying "every hour" of work "brings us closer to a return to more normal times".

It comes as the number of people to die with the virus in the UK reached 4,934.

"We will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again."

"While we have faced challenges before, this one is different," the Queen said.

"This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavour, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal. We will succeed - and that success will belong to every one of us.

"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 Queen, 93, also said the "painful sense of separation from their loved ones" that social distancing was causing for people reminded her of the experience child evacuees had during the Second World War.

"Now, as then, we know, deep down, that it is the right thing to do," she said.

The queen made reference to when her and her sister Princess Margaret spoke to evacuees in 1940.

The monarch said everyone who was following guidance to stay at home was "helping to protect the vulnerable and sparing many families the pain already felt by those who have lost loved ones".

"Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it," she added.

It is only the fifth time the monarch has given such a speech in her 68-year reign.

While her Christmas Day message is an annual event, only rarely has the Queen made rallying speeches at key moments in the life of the nation:

■ A televised speech to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee in June 2012

■ A special address to the nation on the eve of her mother's funeral in April 2002

■ A live broadcast on the eve of the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, in September 1997

■ And a statement at the beginning of the land war in Iraq on 24 February 1991

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