The Queen has shared what is believed to be her first ever Easter address to reassure the nation that "Coronavirus will not overcome us".
While acknowledging that celebrations across the country will be very different today with the coronavirus pandemic making church services impossible, the monarch emphasised that "Easter isn't cancelled; indeed we need Easter as much as ever".
The Queen was speaking from Windsor Castle in a pre-recorded message, which referenced festivals celebrating light overcoming darkness, which features the lighting of candles.
The Queen speaks of light overcoming darkness, and the hope that Easter symbolises, in a special message recorded to mark the Easter weekend. pic.twitter.com/fTFCOSVBtT— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 11, 2020
"Such occasions are often accompanied by the lighting of candles," Her Majesty continued. "They seem to speak to every culture, and appeal to people of all faiths, and of none.
"They are lit on birthday cakes and to mark family anniversaries, when we gather happily around a source of light. It unites us."
Citing the tradition of lighting candles to mark the occasion, Her Majesty added: "As dark as death can be - particularly for those suffering with grief - light and life are greater."
"As dark as death can be - particularly for those suffering with grief - light and life are greater. May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future. I wish everyone of all faiths and denominations a blessed Easter," the Queen's message concluded.
The Palace described it as "Her Majesty's contribution to those who are celebrating Easter privately".
The Easter message comes a week since Her Majesty's televised broadcast to the nation. In her speech, the monarch reassured the country that better times are ahead, and thanked key workers for their tireless work.
Echoing the words of the Vera Lynn wartime song, the Queen added that "we will meet again".
"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."
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