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Coronavirus: Northern Ireland nurses feature in Queen's address to nation watched by millions

Northern Ireland nurses featured in footage from the Queen's message on Sunday night in which she thanked key workers for their efforts in bringing the nation closer to "more normal times".

The nurses from north Belfast's Mater Hospital were shown putting on personal protective equipment (PPE) in the rallying call to the nation given by the Queen.

Around 24million people across the UK watched the address.

The Mater Hospital has been used as the frontline in Northern Ireland's fight against the coronavirus in the city. It was the first to be designated as the Belfast Trust's Covid19 hospital, and has accepted the bulk of the first patients.

Around 5million pieces of PPE arrived in Northern Ireland on Monday morning with deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill saying the aprons and FFP3 respirators were in Belfast for distribution around the health service.

In her speech, the Queen thanked people for following government rules to stay at home and praised those "coming together to help others".

It was only the fifth time the Queen had given such a speech in her near 70-year reign.

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Nurses appeared in the video.

Nurses appeared in the video.

Nurses appeared in the video.

The 93-year-old evoked the spirit of the Second World War, saying: "While we have faced challenges before, this one is different.

She said the "painful sense of separation from their loved ones" caused by social distancing was a reminder of the experience child evacuees had during the Second World War.

"Now, as then, we know, deep down, that it is the right thing to do," she said.

Better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.


"This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavour, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal. We will succeed - and that success will belong to every one of us.

"We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again."

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The nurses from Belfast's Mater Hospital

The nurses from Belfast's Mater Hospital

The nurses from Belfast's Mater Hospital

The Queen said everyone who was following guidance to stay at home was "helping to protect the vulnerable and sparing many families the pain already felt by those who have lost loved ones".

She said: "Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it."

In the future, she said she hoped everyone would be able "to take pride in how they responded to this challenge", stressing the importance of self-discipline and resolve.

Shortly after the broadcast from Windsor Castle, Downing Street announced that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had been taken to hospital following his coronavirus diagnosis.

Mr Johnson has been self-isolating since testing positive for the virus on March 27.


Belfast Telegraph