Every Christmas since 1952, Queen Elizabeth II has followed in her father’s footsteps and recorded an annual message for the people of Britain. This year’s annual Christmas message from Queen Elizabeth, produced by Sky News, will air on the holiday itself, though a preview was released over the weekend that gave some hint to what the Queen will talk about. According to People, the Christmas message preview shows the queen in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace, decorated beautifully for Christmas. The queen herself was surrounded by familial tokens that serve to emphasize the topics of her message.
As Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth has seen Britain and the world go through decades’ worth of change. In her speech, she noted, “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.”
She also emphasized the importance of kindness: “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.” Additionally, she noted the teachings of Jesus and their importance to her and her family. “I believe his message of peace on earth and goodwill to all is never out of date,” the queen said. “It can be heeded by everyone; it’s needed as much as ever.”
This year, in particular, the queen has seen her family grow in exciting new ways. Her grandson Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, welcomed a new baby with his wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (more commonly known as Kate Middleton) in April; her other grandson Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, married Meghan (née Markle), Duchess of Sussex, in May and the two are expecting their first child in the spring; her granddaughter Zara Tindell welcomed a daughter with her husband Mike Tindall in June; and finally, her granddaughter Princess Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank in October.
Amid these exciting new changes, it makes sense that Queen Elizabeth would emphasize the importance of family in her Christmas message. As noted by People, the brooch she wore in her address was a 1966 gift from her husband Prince Philip and the framed, black-and-white photograph on the table shows herself, Philip, and their infant son Prince Charles in 1948.
Queen Elizabeth’s full Christmas message will be broadcast on TV and via Twitter @RoyalFamily and @TwitterUK on Dec. 25 at 3 p.m. GMT (10 a.m. EST/9 a.m. central).
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