Tuesday, December 25, 2018 ~ UK.
~ by Mary P Brooke, West Shore Voice News
Today Queen Elizabeth II delivered her 66th Christmas message to the Commonwealth and the world. It was pre-recorded and broadcast today on Christmas. In the usual way, she was surrounded by framed family photos.
This year a bouquet of flowers on the table in front of the Queen matched the floral theme of the decorated Christmas tree behind her as well as visually coordinating with the burst of peach-coloured flowers in front of unlit fireplace.
Over the years, the long-reigning monarch’s messages have covered a range of commentary (sometimes light, sometimes pointed) on family, faith, conditions of the world’s well-being, and her views on significant personal and world events.
This year at age 92, Queen Elizabeth’s message included that “faith, family and friendship have been a constant and source of personal comfort”. She was not shy to boast that 53 countries in the British Commonwealth comprise 2.4 billion people, or one third of the world’s population.
She said that the strength of the Commonwealth (which includes Canada and Australia) “lies in the bonds of affection it promotes and a common desire to live in a better more peaceful world”.
In pitching for a most peaceful world, the Queen said that “even with the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human being is always a good first step towards greater understanding.”
With a forthright statement about Christianity, Queen Elizabeth says it is not a religion that provides “theoretical explanations for the puzzles of life… it’s about the birth of a child, and the hope that birth 2,000 years ago brought to the world”. And continuing: “Only a few people acknowledged Jesus when he was born, now billions follow him. His message of peace on Earth and goodwill for all is never out of date and can be heeded by everyone. It’s needed as much as ever.”
“A very happy Christmas to you all,” she concluded, in the 5-minute message that included choral music and video clips of her family at various highlights of their public life in the past year including two royal weddings (Princess Eugenie to entrepreneur Jack Brooksbank, and Prince Harry to actress Meghan Markle), and the birth of Prince Louis (third child to Prince William and Kate — the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge), and taking pride in another great-grandchild on the way (to Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex).
Visuals with the Queen’s voiceover included a few moments of Prince Charles at various public events. Charles, now 70 years old, is first in line to the throne. Elizabeth famously said in her message to Britons after the death of her father in 1952 that she would be a devoted Queen for her entire life “whether it be long or short”. She said that with age, one hopes, comes wisdom.
Watch the Queen’s full message.