Queen: Covid-19 vaccine ‘message of hope’ says expert
The monarch, 94, gave us more than our fair share of broadcasts last year, doing one specifically addressing the coronavirus crisis and then her usual Christmas message. In her speech on Christmas Day, celebrating diversity was at the heart of her message, as she told the nation that everyone is “special and equal”. Paying tribute to all those not able to see family and loved ones over Christmas, she also highlighted people who have not been able to gather for different festivities including Passover, Easter, Eid and Vaisakhi.
She also noted the “joyous moments of hope and unity” as Hindus, Sikhs and Jains celebrated Diwali.
While praising frontline workers for their hard work and sacrifice in 2020, the Queen touched on a Christian parable to highlight this message of inclusion ‒ The Good Samaritan.
She said: “The man who is robbed and left at the roadside is saved by someone who did not share his religion or culture.
“This wonderful story of kindness is still relevant to today.
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The Queen’s moving speech was broadcast on Christmas Day
The Queen and her seven senior royals
“Good Samaritans have emerged across society showing care and respect for all, regardless of gender, race or background, reminding us that each one of us is special and equal in the eyes of God.”
Her Majesty delivered the Christmas speech from her home at Windsor Castle, where she has been shielding with Prince Philip, 99.
She cancelled the usual Sandringham Christmas in light of the increasing spread of the virus and resulting restrictions from the Government.
The Royal Family, like many families up and down the country, were separated on this day for the first time in years.
The Queen leaving church in January 2020
This weekend, both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were vaccinated.
Their age puts the two royals in the high-risk group eligible for the first rollout of the vaccine, which has seen 1.5 million people already receive at least one dose.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Saturday: “The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have today received Covid-19 vaccinations.”
Many people were delighted to hear that the Queen is taking steps to prevent her getting sick from the virus, and it was also seen as a royal sign of approval for the jab.
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Kate and William thanking NHS workers during their Royal Train tour last month
Over the past year, the Royal Family have been thanking NHS staff and other key workers for keeping society running during the pandemic.
Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, have been very active in this, including meeting and thanking numerous key workers on their Royal Train tour in December.
In her speech, the Queen harked back to Florence Nightingale, after whom the new coronavirus hospitals were named.
The Queen said in her speech: “[In 2020] we celebrated International Nurses’ Day, on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.
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“As with other nursing pioneers like Mary Seacole, Florence Nightingale shone a lamp of hope across the world.
“Today, our front-line services still shine that lamp for us ‒ supported by the amazing achievements of modern science ‒ and we owe them a debt of gratitude.
“We continue to be inspired by the kindness of strangers and daw comfort that, even on the darkest nights, there is hope in the new dawn.”
Referring to her personal faith, she added: “The teachings of Christ have served as my inner light, as has the sense of purpose we can find in coming together to worship.”
She finished by saying: “The Bible tells of how a star appeared in the sky, its light guiding the shepherds and wise men to the scene of Jesus’s birth.
“Let the light of Christmas – the spirit of selflessness, love and above all hope – guide us in the times ahead.
“It is in that spirit that I wish you a very happy Christmas.”