Queen Elizabeth II has insisted coronavirus ''will not overcome us'', in part of her first ever Easter message.

The 94-year-old monarch addressed the United Kingdom in a message broadcast on Saturday (11.04.20) evening ahead of Easter Sunday this weekend, in which she said the annual holiday is ''not cancelled'' this year despite the ongoing global health crisis - which is forcing families to spend time apart as they practice social distancing - but is ''needed as much as ever''.

She said: ''Many religions have festivals which celebrate light overcoming darkness. Such occasions are often accompanied by the lighting of candles.

''They seem to speak to every culture, and appeal to people of all faiths, and of none. They are lit on birthday cakes and to mark family anniversaries, when we gather happily around a source of light. It unites us.

''As darkness falls on the Saturday before Easter Day, many Christians would normally light candles together.

''In church, one light would pass to another, spreading slowly and then more rapidly as more candles are lit.

''It's a way of showing how the good news of Christ's resurrection has been passed on from the first Easter by every generation until now.

''This year, Easter will be different for many of us, but by keeping apart we keep others safe. But Easter isn't cancelled; indeed, we need Easter as much as ever.''

And the royal - who also addressed the nation last week in a message solely about the coronavirus pandemic - insisted ''light'' will prevail despite the current ''dark'' times.

She added: ''The discovery of the risen Christ on the first Easter Day gave his followers new hope and fresh purpose, and we can all take heart from this.

''We know that Coronavirus will not overcome us. As dark as death can be - particularly for those suffering with grief - light and life are greater.

''May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future.

''I wish everyone of all faiths and denominations a blessed Easter.''

It is believed the Queen chose to broadcast her message - which comes as the first ever Easter message in her 68-year reign - on Saturday instead of Easter Sunday (12.04.20) so as not to overshadow the messages from religious figures.