Queen Elizabeth Preparing to Address the Nation as She's Never Done Before Amid Coronavirus Crisis

This would mark only the fourth time the monarch, 93, gave an unscheduled address to the nation

Even after reigning for 68 years, Queen Elizabeth is ready to learn new ways of doing things.

The 93-year-old monarch is preparing to give a special address amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Queen has only done this a handful of times, with the most recent being when her mother died in 2002.

A royal source tells PEOPLE that although a date for the televised speech is not set, she will follow “advice of the government as to when it might best be deployed.”

And due to strict social distancing restraints — U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday night that public gatherings of more than two people will be prohibited — the Queen may give the speech after coordinating with aides via a video app such as FaceTime or Skype.

A source says they are “looking at everything” going forward.

Queen Elizabeth II
Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images
Commonwealth Day

Queen Elizabeth recently relocated to Windsor Castle, 30 miles outside of London, with 98-year-old husband Prince Philip and minimal staff.

The monarch is believed to be in good health and continuing her work, such as receiving her official paperwork and documents in her famous “red boxes,” behind the scenes. She is also continuing to hold her weekly audience with Prime Minister Johnson, although likely taking place by video conference or phone — as they did last week in what turned out to be the Queen’s final engagement before she left Buckingham Palace.

Queen Elizabeth canceled all of her upcoming public events due to the coronavirus spreading across the world and will be based at Windsor for the foreseeable future. She would have headed there next week for the Easter season, known at the palace as “Easter court,” in any case.

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Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth leaves London for Windsor Castle. PA Images

In a statement released by Buckingham Palace on Thursday, the monarch addressed the current and upcoming challenges posed by the rising concerns of the coronavirus pandemic and asserted the strong need to work together as a country.

“As Philip and I arrive at Windsor today, we know that many individuals and families across the United Kingdom, and around the world, are entering a period of great concern and uncertainty,” she began.

“Many of us will need to find new ways of staying in touch with each other and making sure that loved ones are safe. I am certain we are up to that challenge,” the statement concluded. “You can be assured that my family and I stand ready to play our part.”

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.

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