Queen Elizabeth II gave her first-ever Easter message on Saturday in a recording that was packed with hope amid the coronavirus crisis.
Posted across the British royal family’s official social media accounts a day before the holiday, the queen emphasized that Easter is not canceled. Rather, the monarch reminded everyone that it is a symbol of faith as the world mourns.
The queen said:
“Many religions have festivals which celebrate light overcoming darkness. Such occasions are often accompanied by the lighting of candles. They seem to speak to every culture and appeal to people of all faiths, and of none. They are lit on birthday cakes and to mark family anniversaries. When we gather happily around a source of light it unites us.”
She continued, saying:
“As darkness falls on the Saturday before Easter day, many Christians would normally light candles together. In the church, one light would pass to another, spreading slowly and then more rapidly as more candles are lit. It’s a way of showing how the good news of Christ’s resurrection is being passed on from the first Easter by every generation until now.”
The 93-year-old queen reminded Britons and the world that this year will, of course, be a lot more different because of social distancing measures and stay-at-home orders around the world implemented to control the spread of the virus.
“This year, Easter will be different for many of us but by keeping apart we keep others safe. But Easter isn’t canceled. Indeed we need Easter as much as ever. The discovery of the risen Christ on the first Easter Day gave his followers new hope and fresh purpose, and we can all take heart from this.
We know that Coronavirus will not overcome us.As dark as death can be — particularly for those suffering from grief — light and life are greater. May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future. I wish every one of all faiths and denominations a blessed Easter.
Although the queen was not seen in the two-minute message, her voice is projected as the camera focuses in on one white candle that remains lit.
Reports said this message given on Saturday served as the first time the queen has addressed the Easter holiday in a recording.
It comes just six days after her rare address to the United Kingdom about the pandemic. In a video recording, the monarch provided comfort and hope in the face of mounting death tolls.
The queen also expressed her gratitude and paid tribute to Britain’s beloved National Health Service and others in essential services, together with around 750,000 people who volunteer to help vulnerable people.
The coronavirus pandemic hit close to home for the monarch last month. Prince Chares, her son and heir to the British throne, had a mild case of the disease while reports confirm that the 71-year-old Prince of Wales has already recovered from the sickness.
The queen left London and has stayed at her home in Windsor with her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. The monarch and her 98-year-old spouse are among those over 70 whom the British government advised staying home for 12 weeks.