Robert Lacey is quoted in this Daily Mail article highlighted the Queen’s three other “special addresses”, including the death of Princess Diana:
The monarch spoke to the nation in 1997 on the eve of the funeral for Diana, Princess of Wales. Diana’s sudden death in a Paris car crash triggered one of the monarchy’s worst crises in modern history.
The Queen had been due to pre-record her message, but in an unprecedented move for a royal broadcast of this kind, it was decided she should deliver it live.
Royal author Robert Lacey wrote of how it was a high-risk strategy, but an aide told him: ‘It was a psychological thing. (The Queen) goes flat when she knows it being recorded. When she knows it’s real, she rises to the challenge.’
Speaking from Buckingham Palace and against a backdrop of a view of the crowds of mourners outside, Her Royal Highness, dressed in black, said she was speaking from her heart as both the nation’s Queen and as a grandmother.
She paid tribute to Diana as ‘an exceptional and gifted human being’, adding: ‘In good times and bad, she never lost her capacity to smile and laugh, nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness.’
The Queen’s pre-recorded message will be aired at 8pm on Sunday.