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4 times the Queen has addressed the nation during crises - watch videos

The monarch will address the public on Sunday due to COVID-19

the queen wearing poppies
Aisha Nozari
Online Writer
April 3, 2020
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The Queen is set to address the nation on Sunday as the number of COVID-19 deaths continues to rise, and the televised event will be only the fourth of her 68-year-reign during times of national crisis and grief. While she broadcasts a recorded message each year on Christmas Day, special addresses from the monarch in troubled periods are rare, and there have only been three previous speeches broadcast - after the Queen Mother's death in 2002, ahead of Diana, Princess of Wales's funeral in 1997 and about the First Gulf War in 1991. Amid celebratory times, the Queen made a televised address to mark her Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Watch some of these momentous moments below.

The Queen Mother's death

Eighteen years ago on the eve of her mother's funeral, the Queen thanked the country for their support and the "love and honour shown to the Queen Mother." Dressed in black, the Queen added: "I count myself fortunate that mymother was blessed with a long and happy life. She had an infectious zest for living, and this remained with her until the very end."

WATCH: The Queen addresses nation after death of Queen Mother

MORE: The Queen addresses Houses of Parliament during Diamond Jubilee 

Diana, Princess of Wales's death

The Queen also spoke to the nation in 1997 on the eve of the funeral for Diana, Princess of Wales. Diana's sudden death in a Paris car crash triggered one of the monarchy's worst crises in modern history.

A sea of flowers was left at the gates of Diana's London home, Kensington Palace, by shocked members of the public, but the flag pole at Buckingham Palace remained bare, as was the protocol, because the Queen was away in Scotland, looking after her grandsons. 

MORE: The Queen makes incredible gesture to NHS staff amid coronavirus pandemic

A rare palace statement was released telling of the royal family's hurt at suggestions they were untouched by the tragedy. The Queen had been due to pre-record her message, but in an unprecedented move for a royal broadcast of this kind, it was decided she should deliver it live.

Speaking from Buckingham Palace and against a backdrop of a view of the crowds of mourners outside, the Queen, dressed in black, said she was speaking from her heart as both the nation's Queen and as a grandmother.

She paid tribute to Diana as "an exceptional and gifted human being," adding: "In good times and bad, she never lost her capacity to smile and laugh, nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness."

WATCH: The Queen addresses nation after death of  Diana, Princess of Wales

The Gulf War

In February 1991, the Queen recorded a brief televised address to the nation during the Gulf War. It came as the Allied land offensive began against Iraqi forces occupying Kuwait. The Queen called on people to unite and pray that the Armed Forces' success would be as "swift as it is certain", and that it would be "achieved with as small a cost in human life and suffering as possible". She also expressed her hopes for a "just and lasting peace".

Diamond Jubilee address

The monarch also made a televised address when she thanked the nation for the festivities commemorating her Diamond Jubilee, describing it as "a humbling experience". As the special bank holiday came to a close in June 2012, the monarch said in the two-minute pre-recorded televised message that she was deeply touched, adding: "I hope that memories of all this year's happy events will brighten our lives for many years to come."

WATCH: The Queen addresses Houses of Parliament during Diamond Jubilee 

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