The Queen made a secret tribute to medical heroes in her historical coronavirus speech

5 April 2020, 20:49 | Updated: 5 April 2020, 20:51

In a televised speech to the nation, the Queen thanked frontline workers for all that they are doing to keep the country safe - and paid homage in her own special way.

The Queen wore a dress the same colour as NHS scrubs as she thanked the frontline workers currently battling the pandemic.

In a four minute speech, broadcast to the nation on TV and on the radio, the 93-year-old paid tribute to the army of doctors, nurses, carers and medical support staff who are working tirelessly to stop the spread of the killer virus that has already taken the lives of over 4,000 Brits.

And despite her age putting her well in to the 'at risk' group of Covid-19, she appeared to show that she is with the NHS's heroes in spirit by wearing a green dress in a similar hue to their hospital scrubs.

After thanking them for "selflessly" carrying out their essential roles, she noted that they had brought "us closer to a return to more normal times".

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The Queen's gown was in a gorgeous shade of green - that will be familiar to hospital workers
The Queen's gown was in a gorgeous shade of green - that will be familiar to hospital workers. Picture: BBC

In a rallying cry to a nation displaced by uncertainty, economic struggles and the obliteration of the humdrum of daily life, the Queen told people that it won't be long until things are back to normal - and our actions today are celebrated by future generations.

She said: "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.

"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."

In the speech, which was recorded before this weekend's fine weather, there were thanks for people obeying Boris Johnson's lockdown rules, too.

She said: "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.

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NHS surgeons in their hospital scrubs (file photo)
NHS surgeons in their hospital scrubs (file photo). Picture: Getty

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

The Queen urged for people to exercise "self-restraint" during these troubling times, and likened the separation of families and friends to the pain felt when children were evacuated during World War 2.

The broadcast featured archive footage of the young Elizabeth, then aged 14, and her sister Margaret making a broadcast live from Windsor Castle to send encouragement and warm wishes with other youngsters who had been sent out of London for their own safety.

She said: "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."

The Queen, whose eldest son Prince Charles has just recovered from coronavirus, also touched on how some people are struggling with the huge changes being asked of them.

She said: "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.

"We will succeed - and that success will belong to every one of us."