Queen Elizabeth II hopes people will “maintain their renewed sense of closeness and community” after the COVID-19 pandemic has ended.

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II

The 94-year-old monarch spoke on Sunday (07.03.21) in a special video commemorating Commonwealth Day, in which she praised the “spirit of unity” amongst the Commonwealth countries during a difficult 12 months.

She said: “Over the coming week, as we celebrate the friendship, spirit of unity and achievements of the Commonwealth, we have an opportunity to reflect on a time like no other. Whilst experiences of the last year have been different across the Commonwealth, stirring samples of courage, commitment and selfless dedication to duty have been demonstrated in every Commonwealth nation and territory, notably by those working on the front line, who have been delivering health care and other public services in their communities.

“We have also taken encouragement from remarkable advances in developing new vaccines and treatments. The testing times experienced by so many have led to a deeper appreciation of the mutual support and spiritual sustenance we enjoy by being connected to others. The need to maintain greater physical distance or to live and work largely in isolation has, for many people across the Commonwealth, been an unusual experience.”

Queen Elizabeth went on to praise those who have come together to help others in their community despite the pandemic keeping people apart, and shared her hopes for that sense of charity to continue.

She added: “In our everyday lives, we have had to become more accustomed to connecting and communicating via innovative technology, which has been new to some of us with conversations and communal gatherings, including Commonwealth meetings, conducted online, enabling people to stay in touch with friends, family, colleagues and counterparts who they have not been able to meet in person. Increasingly, we have found ourselves able to enjoy such communication as it offers an immediacy that transcends boundaries or division, helping any sense of distance to disappear. We have all continued to appreciate the support, breadth of experiences and knowledge that working together brings, and I hope we shall maintain this renewed sense of closeness and community.”

And the royal closed her message by wishing the best for all the Commonwealth countries, as she said she wants to see them become “healthier and happier places for us all”.

She said: “Looking forward, relationships with others across the Commonwealth will remain important as we strive to deliver a common future that is sustainable and more secure so that the nations and neighbourhoods in which we live, wherever they are located, become healthier and happier places for us all.”

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