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Queen’s coronavirus address watched by more than 23m

She said the pandemic had brought back memories of wartime.

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The Queen during her address to the nation (Buckingham Palace/PA)

The Queen during her address to the nation (Buckingham Palace/PA)

The Queen during her address to the nation (Buckingham Palace/PA)

The Queen’s address to the nation on Sunday evening was watched by more than 23 million people.

Figures given to the PA news agency by the BBC suggest that the broadcast was watched by 14.1 million people on BBC One and 756,000 on the BBC News channel, with a further 5.3 million watching it on ITV, 2.5 million on Channel 4 and 615,000 on Channel Five.

The televised message was the second most watched broadcast since the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics (24.5 million), topped only by Boris Johnson’s address last month (25.2 million).

It saw her tell how the coronavirus pandemic had brought back memories of wartime.

She said: “It reminds me of the very first broadcast I made, in 1940, helped by my sister.

“We, as children, spoke from here at Windsor to children who had been evacuated from their homes and sent away for their own safety.

“Today, once again, many will feel a painful sense of separation from their loved ones.

“But now, as then, we know, deep down, that it is the right thing to do.”

The televised address was only the fourth of the Queen’s 68-year reign during times of national crisis and grief.

Her most recent Christmas Day message drew a combined overnight audience of 7.85 million.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson (PA Video/PA)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (PA Video/PA)

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson (PA Video/PA)

It comes after Boris Johnson’s address last month, where he placed the country on lockdown, was watched by more than 25.2 million viewers.

The unprecedented address aired on BBC One, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and others.

It beat the highest TV audience measured in the last decade (24.5 million) for the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.

That figure was more than double the number (11.6 million) who tuned into the Gavin And Stacey Christmas special on the night it aired.

Zara Tindall said she was “very proud” of her grandmother’s efforts.

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Zara Phillips (Joe Giddens/PA)

Zara Phillips (Joe Giddens/PA)

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Zara Phillips (Joe Giddens/PA)

Appearing on Monday’s Good Morning Britain from her home in Gloucestershire, she said: “Obviously, we’re very proud and what she said is completely, 100% what the country needed.

“I hope everyone listens and we can try and get back to normal and, as we’re trying to do today, support our NHS as much as we can.”

Other public figures, including Sir Keir Starmer and Liz Truss, praised the Queen for her words.

“The Queen speaks for the whole country and our determination to defeat the coronavirus,” new Labour leader Sir Keir tweeted.

Trade Secretary Ms Truss described the message as “inspiring”, while Nadine Dorries MP, who tested positive for Covid-19 in March, said it was “perfect”.

She added: “We really are all #InThisTogether.”

PA Media