Coronavirus: The Queen calls Jacinda Ardern to speak about COVID-19 pandemic

Rebecca Taylor
Royal Correspondent
Queen Elizabeth II meeting Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand in 2018. (Getty Images)

The Queen has spoken to New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern to hear about how the country is coping with the outbreak of coronavirus.

Ardern shared the news on social media, saying she got a note requesting a catch up from the palace, before the call.

Posting on Instagram she said: “A few days ago we got a wee note to say that the Queen wanted to catch up and see how everyone in New Zealand was getting on in the midst of COVID-19.

“It was such a treat to speak with Her Majesty tonight. Her affection for New Zealand, her interest in what’s happening here and her memory of places and events that are special to us never ceases to amaze me.”

New Zealand is a Commonwealth nation. Her Majesty is the Queen of New Zealand.

Read more: Freed from strict lockdown New Zealanders head to fast food outlets, beaches

The Queen’s televised message was to the UK and the Commonwealth, but she followed it up with separate messages to the Commonwealth nations, some of which were shared at the time.

The phone call was confirmed on Twitter by the Royal Family, in a post which read: “This morning, The Queen spoke to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern via telephone from Windsor Castle.

“Her Majesty is Queen of New Zealand and 15 other Commonwealth realms including the UK.

“She will be speaking to the Prime Ministers of every realm over the coming weeks.”

Ardern, 39, has won admiration and praise for her handling of the coronavirus pandemic in New Zealand.

Much of the country re-opened on Tuesday after a month-long lockdown which she says is how they eliminated COVID-19.

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New COVID-19 infections ticked up by two on Tuesday to 1,124 cases, with a community transmission rate of just 0.4%. There have been 19 deaths.

"It's an ongoing battle," Ardern said at a televised news conference. "There is no one point in time that this mission ends. We are in the next phase of the battle and we are not done."

Most students will continue studying from home and workers are still required to work from home if they can, while everyone is required to maintain social distancing.

Jacinda Ardern (L) has a private audience with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in 2018. (Getty Images)

Read more: How the Queen became a symbol of stability in the chaos of coronavirus

The Queen has not been to New Zealand since 2002, and doesn’t travel abroad any more.

However she met then pregnant Ardern in 2018 when the leader was in London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

She’s currently in Windsor Castle with her husband Prince Philip where they have been isolating since the end of March.