The Queen’s Coronavirus broadcast: ‘We will meet again’

In a rare speech, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II delivers a special message to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth during the coronavirus pandemic; and echoes the words of Vera Lynn’s wartime song, ‘We will meet again.’

[00:12] 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. I want to thank everyone on the NHS 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.

[01:18] Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it. 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-humoured resolve, and of fellow feeling still characterise this country. The pride in who we are is not a part of our past, it defines our present and our future.

[02:07] The moments when the United Kingdom has come together to applaud its care and essential workers 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 neighbours, or converting businesses to help the relief effort. 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.

[03:02] It reminds me of the very first broadcast I made in 1940, helped by my sister. We as children spoke from here at Windsor to children who had been evacuated from their homes and sent away for their own safety. Today, once again, many will feel a painful sense of separation from their loved ones, but now as then, we know deep down that it is the right thing to do. While we have faced challenges before, this one is different. 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. But for now, I send my thanks and warmest good wishes to you all.

challenging (adjective): difficult
disruption (noun): problem that interrupts an event or activity
grief (noun): intense sorrow (usually over someone’s death)
NHS (abbreviation): National Health Service
frontline (noun): part of an army that is closest to the enemy; by extension, the medical services
selflessly (adverb): without thought for oneself but for others
vulnerable (adjective): exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed
spare (verb): refrain from inflicting something unpleasant on someone
resolute (adjective): purposeful, determined, unwavering
overcome (verb): defeat
take pride in (verb): be especially proud of
respond to (verb): react to, take action to deal with (something)
generation (noun): all the people living around the same time
attribute (noun): quality, characteristic
fellow feeling (noun): sympathy and friendliness between people based on shared experiences or dangers
evacuate (verb): take someone from somewhere dangerous to somewhere safe
endeavour [US endeavor] (noun): an attempt to do something
compassion (noun): sympathy and pity for others

We’ll Meet Again

We’ll Meet Again was a British song made famous by singer Vera Lynn during the Second World War. (Music and lyrics by English songwriters Ross Parker and Hughie Charles)

We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day
Keep smiling through
Just like you always do
‘Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away

So will you please say hello
To the folks that I know
Tell them I won’t be long
They’ll be happy to know
That as you saw me go
I was singing this song

We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day

We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day
Keep smiling through
Just like you always do
‘Til the blue skies
Drive the dark clouds far away
So will you please say hello
To the folks that I know
Tell them it won’t be long
They’ll be happy to know
That as you saw me go
I was singin’ this song

We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day

Please leave YOUR message of hope in the comments below too…


By Josef Essberger for EnglishClub April 2020
Josef started teaching English as a foreign language in 1991 and founded EnglishClub for learners and teachers in 1997.

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