In a rare televised address on Sunday, Queen Elizabeth II urged the United Kingdom to respond to the coronavirus pandemic with the "self-discipline" and "resolve" that have defined the British people in moments of crisis.

Why it matters: It's just the fifth time that the queen, who traditionally speaks to the nation once a year on Christmas Day, has addressed the British people in this way during her 68-year reign.

  • Her only other addresses came during the Gulf War in 1991, the night before Princess Diana's funeral in 1997, after the death of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 2002, and on the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne in 2012, per the BBC.

Key excerpts:

  • "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 Britons 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."
  • "While we have faced challenges before, this one is different. This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavor, 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."

Between the lines: The queen's speech was coated with implicit and explicit references to World War II, including the line, "We will meet again" — a reference to a 1939 song by singer Vera Lynn that became a wartime anthem and a symbol to the British people.

The big picture: The U.K. is under nationwide lockdown, and strict measures have been imposed to protect the 94-year-old queen from the outbreak.

  • Her public schedule has been canceled, and she's been evacuated from Buckingham Palace.
  • Her eldest son and heir to the throne, Prince Charles, has tested positive for the virus, as has Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

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