"She has always had this historical perspective about life, and now she embodies history," her biographer Robert Lacey tells PEOPLE

By Simon Perry
May 20, 2020 08:00 AM
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During her record-breaking 68 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth has prevailed throughout some of history's must tumultuous times — and she is now drawing upon that experience amid the current pandemic crisis.

In her recent addresses to the public in the U.K. and beyond, the 94-year-old monarch carefully captured the mood of the world, those who know her tell PEOPLE.

"She always hits the right mark. She has impeccable judgment,” one close royal source says in this week's cover story.

In several video addresses from Windsor Castle, where she has been isolating with Prince Philip, 98, since March 19, the Queen recalled her wartime life alongside her younger sister Princess Margaret.

Queen Elizabeth

"She has always had this historical perspective about life, and now she embodies history," says her biographer Robert Lacey, author of the books Monarch and Majesty.

Queen Elizabeth on the cover of PEOPLE

In her poignant speech on April 5, the Queen shared that as young princesses, she and Margaret "spoke from here at Windsor to children who had been evacuated from their homes and sent away for their own safety.

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"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."

Queen Elizabeth
| Credit: Royal Family/Twitter

Adds Lacey: "It was interesting that she made the parallels with 1940 and then went on to explain that it is now a  different sort of international struggle. It was sober and realistic, but there was a grounded optimism to it."

For more about how the Queen is keeping calm and carrying on at age 94, pick up a copy of PEOPLE, on newsstands on Friday

Her friend Lady Carnarvon explains, “She is of the generation dedicated to duty and what you can do for others.”