What were the Queen's four previous televised addresses to the nation about?

5 April 2020, 15:49

The Queen is set to address the nation and Commonwealth for the fifth time
The Queen is set to address the nation and Commonwealth for the fifth time. Picture: PA

By Seán Hickey

Queen Elizabeth II will give her fifth address as British monarch tonight. The address is set to be watched by a third of the world's population.

Her Majesty the Queen will be addressing the nation tonight at 8pm in what will be her fifth state address as the Queen of England and head of the Commonwealth. She will be speaking about the effort to combat the coronavirus crisis and commending the work that her subjects, particularly key workers and the NHS have done to stop the spread as best as they can.

With this being Queen Elizabeth II's fifth address, LBC investigated to see what were the events that led to the other four state addresses.

The Queen will address a third of the world's population in her address
The Queen will address a third of the world's population in her address. Picture: PA

The First Gulf War

In 1991 Her Majesty the Queen gave her first address as monarch and her only address in a war situation after British troops were deployed in the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Desert Storm. Her Majesty prayed for British troops in the Gulf and rallied the public to hope for their speedy return.

"I hope that we can unite, and pray that their success will be as swift as it is certain and that it may be achieved with as small a cost in human life and suffering as possible."

The Death of Diana, Princess of Wales

Six years later the Queen was on centre stage again to address the nation the night before the funeral of her daughter-in-law, Diana, Princess of Wales.

The speech drew criticism to the Queen who was criticised for not attending the funeral and for not lowering the mast at Balmoral, where she stayed during the funeral.

As she stayed in Balmoral, the Queen deflected criticism from the public and used the speech to speak about her devotion to her grandsons, now the Duke of Cambridge Prince William and Prince Harry, who was until recently the Duke of Sussex.

“We have all felt those emotions in these last few days. So what I say to you now, as your Queen and as a grandmother, I say from my heart."

Elizabeth II used her address on the eve of Diana's funeral to express her devotion to her grandsons
Elizabeth II used her address on the eve of Diana's funeral to express her devotion to her grandsons. Picture: PA

The Death of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother

2002 was the year of the Queen's next address, where she spoke to the nation the night before her own mother's funeral, Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.

This time the Queen used the address to express her love for her mother and to pay tribute to the determination of her mother and her lust for life.

"The extent of the tribute that huge numbers of you have paid my mother in the last few days has been overwhelming. I have drawn great comfort from so many individual acts of kindness and respect.”

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations

Ten years later the Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee and addressed the nation to express her gratitude for the events and dedications to her made over the June weekend which marked her 60th year as the Queen of England and head of the Commonwealth.

The Queen gave her address days after the celebrations to tell her subjects of the humbling experience she was granted as she became the UK's longest standing monarch.

"It has touched me deeply to see so many thousands of families, neighbours and friends celebrating together in such a happy atmosphere.”

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