Queen Elizabeth writes heartfelt open letter to all New Zealanders

Publish Date
Tuesday, 7 April 2020, 11:56AM

Queen Elizabeth II has urged New Zealanders to be strong, be brave and be steadfast (kia kaha, kia māia, kia manawanui) in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Her Majesty sent the message of strength to New Zealanders as we enter the 13th day of lockdown.

"As people across New Zealand and the Commonwealth are experiencing unprecedented changes to their lives, concerns for family and friends, and financial uncertainty, you are in my thoughts and prayers," she wrote.

"I send my enduring thanks to those who continue to put the service of others above themselves, whether by staying at home, providing essential services, or by caring for the most vulnerable."

Through this sense of community, dedication and faith, her Majesty is confident New Zealanders will "rise to the challenge and overcome."

Her letter to Kiwis comes after the 93-year-old monarch addressed the commonwealth in a rare public address - marking the fourth such time that she has done so in almost 70 years on the throne.

Acknowledging the suffering that many had felt because of the crisis, she sought to lift spirits and offer hope.

"I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time," she said.

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"A time of disruption in the life of our country; a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all."

The Queen praised the National Health Service and others working in essential services.

"I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge," she said.

The Queen left London, the epicentre of Britain's outbreak, and took up residence at her home in Windsor with her husband, the Prince Philip.