Follow lockdown to keep others safe, says Queen in first Easter address

The Queen has stressed the importance of maintaining the coronavirus lockdown during the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, saying "by keeping apart we keep others safe".

With the Covid-19 outbreak making church services impossible, the Queen has delivered what is believed to be her first Easter address, which had the resolute message: "We know that coronavirus will not overcome us."

The Queen's pre-recorded speech offered support to those marking Easter privately and the wider country, and she said: "But Easter isn't cancelled; indeed, we need Easter as much as ever."

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Easter 2020: The UK in lockdown
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Easter 2020: The UK in lockdown
SOUTHEND ON SEA, ENGLAND - APRIL 10: A woman sunbathes from the window above the Britannia Fish and Chip restaurant on the seafront on Good Friday on April 10, 2020 in Southend on Sea, England. Public Easter events have been cancelled across the country, with the government urging the public to respect lockdown measures by celebrating the holiday in their homes. Over 1.5 million people across the world have been infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus, with over 7,000 fatalities recorded in the United Kingdom. (Photo by John Keeble/Getty Images)
LEIGH ON SEA, ENGLAND - APRIL 10: A sign warning people to stay at least two metres apart on Two Tree Island nature reserve park on April 10, 2020 in Leigh on Sea, England. Public Easter events have been cancelled across the country, with the government urging the public to respect lockdown measures by celebrating the holiday in their homes. Over 1.5 million people across the world have been infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus, with over 7,000 fatalities recorded in the United Kingdom. (Photo by John Keeble/Getty Images)
On the first day of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, and at the end of the second week of lockdown restrictions by the UK government, a family use their daily exercise entitlement to spend a warm afternoon near a stencil for keeping 2 metres apart in Ruskin Park in a public green space in the borough of Lambeth, on 10th April 2020, in London, England. (Photo by Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty Images)
SOUTHEND ON SEA, ENGLAND - APRIL 10: A deserted Southend seafront promenade which would normally be bustling with the current sunny weather on Good Friday on April 10, 2020 in Southend on Sea, England. Public Easter events have been cancelled across the country, with the government urging the public to respect lockdown measures by celebrating the holiday in their homes. Over 1.5 million people across the world have been infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus, with over 7,000 fatalities recorded in the United Kingdom. (Photo by John Keeble/Getty Images)
SOUTHEND ON SEA, ENGLAND - APRIL 10: People walk past a hoarding which has been painted with the words "Well Done NHS" and hearts on Southend seafront promenade which would normally be bustling with the current sunny weather on Good Friday on April 10, 2020 in Southend on Sea, England. Public Easter events have been cancelled across the country, with the government urging the public to respect lockdown measures by celebrating the holiday in their homes. Over 1.5 million people across the world have been infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus, with over 7,000 fatalities recorded in the United Kingdom. (Photo by John Keeble/Getty Images)
Chalk writing telling people to stay away from Margate Beach is visible on an empty beach in Margate, Kent, during the Easter bank holiday weekend, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Unusually quiet north and southbound carriages on the A30 in Cornwall during the Easter bank holiday weekend, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
People near the river Thames in Windsor, Berkshire, during the Easter bank holiday weekend, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
People on the Long Walk at Windsor Castle, Berkshire, during the Easter bank holiday weekend, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Staff at Blair Drummond Safari Park give their meerkats rainbow coloured Easter eggs filled with enrichments. The park is closed to the public at the moment as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
People walk on the Tolcarne beach in Newquay on the north coast of Cornwall, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A view of the M25 motorway near Heathrow as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Composite photo of people enjoying the hot weather at a busy Bournemouth beach, Dorset, during the Easter bank holiday weekend 20/04/19 (top), and the near deserted beach today (bottom), as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
People walk along a near deserted Bournemouth beach, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Police officers patrol the sea front in a police car on Bournemouth beach, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The M5 motorway in Worcester, Worcestershire, which is normally busy during the Easter bank holiday getaway, is quiet as the UK continues in lockdown to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Embargoed to 0001 Saturday April 11 The Rev Peter Sutton records the Easter Sunday sermon in the Memorial chapel at the Parish Church of St Cuthbert in Edinburgh, the church has been streaming sermons as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Composite image showing an empty beach in Scarborough (top) dated date Saturday April 11, 2020 and the same scene (bottom) taken in 2019 over the Easter weekend, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A runner passes street art in appreciation of the NHS placed near to the Francis Drake Bowls Club in Hilly Fields Park, in Lewisham, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A man jogs on New Brighton Beach near Liverpool as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
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It ended on a positive note: "May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future."

The speech came after the Queen's televised address to the nation last Sunday when she said by remaining united the country would overcome the virus, and told those in lockdown "we will meet again".

The messages illustrate the importance of the head of the nation appearing at times of crisis to rally the country and keep up morale.

The Queen said in her audio message recorded on Good Friday at Windsor Castle: "This year, Easter will be different for many of us, but by keeping apart we keep others safe.

"But Easter isn't cancelled; indeed, we need Easter as much as ever."

Easter is the most important period in the religious calendar for Christians. It is the culmination of holy week and celebrates the resurrection of Christ.

The Government is urging people to stay at home this Easter amid fears that with continuing good weather, people will flock to parks and beaches and undermine its social distancing strategy.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has acknowledged the warm weather but said it was too early to lift the social distancing measures.

The latest figures from the Department of Health reveal a total of 9,875 patients have died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Friday, up by 917 from 8,958 the day before.

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(PA Graphics)

The Queen said: "The discovery of the risen Christ on the first Easter Day gave his followers new hope and fresh purpose, and we can all take heart from this. We know that coronavirus will not overcome us.

"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."

The message was written by the Queen, who has a strong religious faith, and was accompanied by footage of a candle lighting an altar which illustrated her theme of "light overcoming darkness".

Speaking about the symbolic importance of the lighting of candles, she added: "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."

Social distancing was observed during the recording of the message, with the Queen delivering the address alone into a microphone set up in Windsor Castle's White Drawing room while the sound engineer was in a nearby room.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will deliver his Easter sermon in a video recorded in his flat at Lambeth Palace. Caroline Welby
The Archbishop of Canterbury will deliver his Easter sermon in a video recorded in his flat at Lambeth Palace (Caroline Welby/PA)

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, will deliver his Easter sermon in a video recorded in his flat at Lambeth Palace.

He had an audience with the Queen on Thursday, speaking with the monarch by telephone due to the lockdown.

The Queen's message was broadcast on the royal family's digital and social media accounts.

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