Queen says nation is 'up to challenge' of beating coronavirus

  • Video report by ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship

The Queen has released a statement to the British public saying she believes the nation is "up to the challenge" of beating coronavirus.

The monarch, who has left London a week early to spend an extended break at Windsor Castle, said the country is entering "a period of concern and uncertainty".

Her statement opens by stating she and her husband, Philip, have arrived at their Berkshire residence: "As Philip and I arrive at Windsor today, we know that many individuals and families across the United Kingdom, and around the world, are entering a period of great concern and uncertainty.

"We are all being advised to change our normal routines and regular patterns of life for the greater good of the communities we live in and, in particular, to protect the most vulnerable within them."

The Queen and her husband, Philip, two years ago. The couple will now spend time together at Windsor. Credit: PA

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It continues: " At times such as these, I am reminded that our nation’s history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts with a focus on the common goal.

"We are enormously thankful for the expertise and commitment of our scientists, medical practitioners and emergency and public services; but now more than any time in our recent past, we all have a vitally important part to play as individuals - today and in the coming days, weeks and months.

"Many of us will need to find new ways of staying in touch with each other and making sure that loved ones are safe. I am certain we are up to that challenge. You can be assured that my family and I stand ready to play our part."

The message comes as Downing Street said there is "no prospect" of London being locked down in the battle against coronavirus. The prime minister's office moved to close down rumours that transport in and out of the capital was about to be restricted.