Last night the Guardian tweeted: ‘The Queen has given an Easter message to reassure the people of the UK that this pandemic can be beaten. The monarch’s speech is said to be her contribution to those marking the occasion at home’. Interestingly, the Queen didn’t appear in the 2 minute video, which mostly featured a lit candle. She spoke about the importance of hope and light overcoming darkness, referencing the lighting of candles during the vigil preceding the Resurrection. I wonder how much impact these messages are having: as with the Queen’s Christmas broadcast, there are those who never watch and would prefer not to have a monarchy here, and those who watch religiously, regarding any avoidance almost as heresy. These messages are clearly very sincerely meant, but I wonder how comforting people are finding them.
The government faced a chorus of cross-party calls on Sunday for the urgent recall of parliament (closed down on 25 March) in “virtual” form as MPs and peers demanded the right to hold ministers to account over the escalating coronavirus crisis.
At 3 pm, having been discharged from hospital, the PM issued a 5 minute video message, praising the NHS to the skies and thanking the population for observing the lockdown. Within minutes it had received thousands of views and retweets on Twitter. It will be interesting to see, over the forthcoming week, what emerges from him now he’s recovering at Chequers.