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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 January 2019

Queen's Christmas speech: British monarch to say peace needed as much as ever

The 92-year-old queen will also speak of family and friendship on Christmas Day

Queen Elizabeth II poses after she recorded her annual Christmas Day message, in the White Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace in central London. AP
Queen Elizabeth II poses after she recorded her annual Christmas Day message, in the White Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace in central London. AP

The UK’s Queen Elizabeth is expected to urge for peace, goodwill and respect even if others might hold vastly different viewpoints, in her much-anticipated Christmas speech.

She is also expected to mentioned family and friendship following a year in which grandson Prince Harry married American actress Meghan Markle, her granddaughter Princess Beatrice tied the knot with Jack Brooksbank and great-grandson Prince Louis was born.

Speaking about the birth of Jesus, she will say: "I believe his message of peace on earth and goodwill to all is never out of date. It can be heeded by everyone; it's needed as much as ever.

"Even with the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human being is always a good step towards greater understanding."

An integral part of Christmas Day for many, the queen recorded her speech on December 12. The custom harks back to 1932 and was begun by her Grandfather King George V.

The 92-year-old has typically avoided openly talking about controversial issues and snippets of the speech released by Buckingham Palace do not mention US President Donald Trump or the Brexit negotiations that have almost entirely taken over UK public discourse.

Mr Trump broke protocol by mentioning details of his Brexit talks with the queen, but did describe her “sharp, "beautiful,” and an "incredible woman" after his highly-publicised visit to the UK this summer. He was speaking before going on to meet Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who has also drawn the public ire of the UK this year.

"Through the many changes I have seen over the years, faith, family and friendship have been not only a constant for me but a source of personal comfort and reassurance," the queen will say.

She also paid tribute to the British and Commonwealth soldiers of the First World War on the centenary of the signing of the Armistice the conflict in 1918.

The queen also offered her condolences to Indonesia following the devastating tsunami that killed nearly 300 people in the country and continues to threaten further.

She wore a cocktail dress in ivory silk with pastel blue, white and gold lame overlay designed by Angela Kelly for the broadcast, which was recorded in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace.

The queen is spending Christmas as usual at her Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, eastern England, where she will be joined by other members of the British royal family.

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Updated: December 24, 2018 09:02 PM

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