Boris Johnson Hospitalized as Queen Urges British Resolve in Face of Epidemic
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalized on Sunday evening after 10 days of battling the coronavirus, unnerving a country that had gathered to watch Queen Elizabeth II rally fellow Britons to confront the pandemic and reassure them that when the crisis finally ebbed, “we will meet again.”
The queen’s speech was only the fourth time in her 68-year reign in which she has addressed the British people, apart from her annual Christmas greeting.
Like her father, George VI, eight decades ago, the queen appealed to the quintessential British traits of stoicism and solidarity, and explicitly linked the pandemic to the war as a defining moment for modern Britain. This time, she said, the country needs to come together to vanquish an enemy that brings death not in the terrifying bombing raids of the Blitz but in the ordinary encounters of people transmitting a dangerous pathogen.
“I hope in the years to come, everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge,” the queen said, “and those who come after us will say that 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.”