Locked inside like battery hens, facing an Easter separate from our loved ones, the nation needed the kind of reassuring comfort that only the Queen can provide.
In these strange times of self-isolation and social distancing, there would be only one person whom the British would gladly invite into their living room on a Sunday evening.
Forget the training of Joe Wicks or the math of Carol Vorderman: here is the queen of all, giving her own lesson, not only to the pupils of the home but to their worried parents, and to their grandparents and great-grandparents exiles.
From the altruistic NHS workers to the hard-working shelf stackers to the new unemployed, it was a message of hope for everyone.
“If we remain united and resolved, we will overcome it,” she insisted, echoing the Gospel song.
After almost seven decades on the throne, this remarkable nonagenarian is well practiced in the art of calm in times of crisis and even in the face of an invisible enemy, she did not disappoint.
With characteristic subtlety, the best and probably the most jerky of tears came at the end, when she spoke of the spirit of the Blitz with the words: “We should console ourselves for the fact that even if we have more to endure , better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we’ll see each other again. “
Few people may not remember the wartime morale performance of the darling of forces force Vera Vera, but at other times the catchy rhetoric was positively Churchillian.
At nearly 94, the monarch has been at his most personal so far, managing to outweigh this extraordinary moment after the death of Princess of Wales Diana, when she spoke “with all my heart as your queen and grandmother. “
At the time, she spoke to the nation on live television with hundreds of mourners in the Mall.
At 8 p.m. last night, he was only the only ruler in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle – filmed by a lone masked cameraman for four and a half soothing minutes.
Fourteen prime ministers and 13 American presidents may have served under his authority, but by his own admission, even the Queen did not experience anything like Covid-19.
Yet after spending the past seven decades building a world-renowned reputation as a beacon of stability and continuity, she of course knew exactly what to say and how to say it.
His carefully chosen words – 523 in total – combined a rare tone of nostalgia with the kind of stoicism that has hardened Britain’s upper lip over the centuries.
Unlike this cliché cartoon, the words of comfort were spoken with the compassion of a great grandmother. Here, the queen was not acting as head of state but as “mother of the nation”.
Cleverly, it was not only a question of emphasizing that the rich or the poor were in the same boat, but of sharing the universal frustration facing the rough waters that we currently have to navigate.
Yes, self-isolation is difficult, but why not make the most of a bad situation, she wisely suggested. Seize the moment to leave the hamster wheel for once. And while you’re at it, pat yourself on the back to find out how Britain has responded to this extraordinary challenge.
After several weeks of having to endure the political partisanship and academic ambiguity of the recent Downing Street press conferences – there was a feeling that we didn’t just need to hear it – we had to hear it from HM.
Because only a woman from the Queen’s vintage could credibly deliver the immortal line: “Those who will succeed us will say that the British of this generation were as strong as all. »Pure Winston.
Likewise, following the rules of foreclosure not because you were told – but because it’s fair – was only plausible on the part of someone whose entire reign was characterized by putting homework first.
Because no matter what the Republicans might have you believe, the Queen knows more about self-sacrifice than most.
Drawing on her childhood memories of her very first broadcast, when a 14-year-old Princess Elizabeth spoke to the evacuated children alongside her 10-year-old sister, Princess Margaret, she managed to convey a feeling of palpable empathy.
And as someone who used to spend up to six months on official royal tours, she knows only too well the “painful feeling of separation from loved ones” she spoke of.
Who better than the longest reigning monarch in the world and the most traveled in the world to guarantee that Britain will return to normal? “We will succeed – and this success will belong to each of us,” she insisted.
Coming from someone who stayed calm and went through all kinds of crises – both personal and global, ultimately, it didn’t seem fanciful to start believing it.
Having continued to receive his “red boxes” of state papers while isolating himself with Prince Philip, 98, the Queen’s years did not seem to prevent him from following the latest developments outside the confines of the castle.
Referring to the “rainbows” that were made by children the length and breadth of Britain and the Thursday evening Clapping for Carers, she showed that she was still far from detail.
Now that we have a constitutional monarchy, the days of sovereigns ruling their subjects are long gone. But the instructions from the woman nicknamed “the boss” behind the palace doors were clear: remember those British qualities that define us all.
Because by telling the nation to be proud of the “attributes of self-discipline, calm good humor and sympathy that always characterize this country”, she could have spoken for herself.