That was the central message Saturday from Queen Elizabeth, who gave a two-minute address posted to the British royal family’s social media accounts Saturday in hopes of lifting spirits for the millions worldwide who are stuck at home due to COVID-19.
“This year, Easter will be different for many of us, but by keeping apart we keep others safe,” the Queen, who turns 94 later this month, said. “But Easter isn’t canceled; indeed, we need Easter as much as ever.
“We know that coronavirus will not overcome us. As dark as death can be — particularly for those suffering with grief — light and life are greater.”
Throughout the video, an illuminated candle is shown as the Queen is heard speaking. That candle is central to her Easter message.
“Many religions have festivals which celebrate light overcoming darkness,” she said. “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.
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On birthdays, anniversaries and countless other days of celebration, candles help unite us, the Queen said. Easter is no different, even in quarantine.
“As darkness falls on the Saturday before Easter day, many Christians would normally light candles together,” she said. “In 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.”
It was her second address on coronavirus, following a televised address that aired last weekend.
“I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,” the queen said in prerecorded remarks from Windsor Castle, where she has been since March. “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 … 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 that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any.”
Aside from her annual Christmas speeches, it was only the fourth time in her six-decade-long reign that she has given such an address.
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The royal family itself has been touched by coronavirus: Prince Charles, 71, revealed last month that he’d tested positive for COVID-19 after “displaying mild symptoms.”
Though he now says he’s “on the other side of the illness,” the heir to the throne is still practicing social distancing in compliance with Britain’s stay-at-home order. Last week, he appeared virtually to dedicate a hospital in London that will serve coronavirus patients.
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The Queen herself had a close call when it was revealed she had interacted with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who tested positive for COVID-19 a short time later. Johnson has spent the past week at St. Thomas Hospital in central London, where he spent a few days in intensive care after his symptoms worsened.
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