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Anne Glenconner, Princess Margaret’s Lady-in-Waiting and close confidant to Queen Elizabeth II’s sister, believes history has prepared the British royal family to address the devastating coronavirus pandemic.
The 87-year-old recently wrote a memoir about her decades-long friendship with the late princess titled “Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown.” Glenconner was also one of Elizabeth’s attendants at her 1953 coronation.
Margaret passed away in 2002 at age 71 from a stroke.
“We were brought up in the war,” Glenconner told Fox News. “This virus is very difficult. But the war helped us to be tough… This virus is very much like war except you can’t see where the enemy is. In the war, we knew it was Hitler. I think that’s what’s frightening about this enemy - you have no idea where it is.”
“But we will persevere,” continued Glenconner. “We must follow the guidelines and wash our hands, stay home. I’ve also lived through the AIDS crisis. That was terrifying. My son got it in the ‘80s and in the early days, we had no idea how you contracted. We didn’t really know who got it, where it came from.”
Glenconner shared that if her beloved pal was still alive today, she would encourage others to remain hopeful during troubling times.
“I think if Princess Margaret were alive today, she would give good advice,” said Glenconner. “She would tell us to carry on, do the best that we can day by day and not give up. I live alone here and it can get quite lonely at times. My children, I don’t see them because they live elsewhere. But they ring me up. I remind them to stay indoors. And I tell them they don’t have it so bad. They are home, they are healthy, they’re not starving.”
“If Princess Margaret were here, she would simply say, ‘Do the best that you can and don’t worry. We will make it through,’” Glenconner added.
Elizabeth was just 14 years old when she made her first public speech in 1940 with a radio address to children across the Commonwealth -- many of whom were living away from home during World War II, People magazine reported. Margaret, who was 10 at the time, also joined in.
“Thousands of you in this country have had to leave your homes and be separated from your fathers and mothers,” said Elizabeth on the BBC’s “Children’s Hour.”
“My sister Margaret Rose and I feel so much for you as we know from experience what it means to be away from those we love most of all,” she continued. “To you, living in new surroundings, we send a message of true sympathy and at the same time we would like to thank the kind people who have welcomed you to their homes in the country.”
“Before I finish I can truthfully say to you all that we children at home are full of cheerfulness and courage,” Elizabeth shared. “We are trying to do all we can to help our gallant sailors, soldiers and airmen, and we are trying, too, to bear our own share of the danger and sadness of war.
“We know, every one of us, that in the end, all will be well; for God will care for us and give us victory and peace. And when peace comes, remember it will be for us, the children of today, to make the world of tomorrow a better and happier place.”
According to the outlet, Elizabeth ended her speech by bringing Margaret on to say goodnight to their young listeners.
“My sister is by my side and we are both going to say goodnight to you,” said Elizabeth. “Come on, Margaret.”
“Goodnight, children,” Margaret replied.
“Goodnight, and good luck to you all,” Elizabeth added.
People also shared that at her own insistence, Elizabeth joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service at age 18 and trained as a truck mechanic as a means of offering support during World War II.
Elizabeth, now 93, is set to address the devastating coronavirus pandemic in a televised broadcast this Sunday, Buckingham Palace confirmed to Fox News.
"Her Majesty The Queen has recorded a special broadcast to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in relation to the Coronavirus outbreak. The televised address will be broadcast at 8 p.m. on Sunday 5th April," the palace said in a statement on Friday.
Sunday's broadcast will serve as the first time the queen has addressed the coronavirus on camera.
The televised address is unique in that the queen has only conducted a handful of on-camera broadcasts outside her annual televised Christmas addresses throughout her 68-year reign. The queen has appeared on camera to address the death of Princess Diana, which came five days following the Aug. 31, 1997 tragedy, as well as in 1991 during the Gulf War and in 2002, after the Queen Mother died.
The on-air coronavirus message will follow a number of statements provided by the royal family about the importance of self-isolating as the pandemic continues to claim the lives of thousands across the globe.
Last month, the novel coronavirus hit close to home for the British royal family after the queen's eldest son, Prince Charles, 71, tested positive for COVID-19.
The Prince of Wales has since recovered after displaying "mild" symptoms, his office, the Clarence House, confirmed to Fox News last week.
Fox News’ Melissa Roberto contributed to this report.