The Queen’s speech placed importance on friendship and family, as she reflected on this year’s events.
Her Majesty, 92, joked that her eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren keep her “well-occupied”.
It has been an eventful year for the Royal Family as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed their third child Prince Louis in April, while Zara and Mike Tindall had their second daughter Lena.
Then there were the marriages of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank.
She will also welcome her eighth great-grandchild in spring 2019, when Meghan gives birth to her and Harry’s first baby.
The Queen said: “Closer to home, it’s been a busy year for my family, with two weddings and two babies and another child expected soon.
“It helps to keep a grandmother well-occupied.
“We have had other celebrations too, including the 70th birthday of The Prince of Wales.”
Recorded in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace some weeks earlier, the Queen is surrounded by six personal photographs.
They include a black and white photograph of the then Princess Elizabeth with the Duke of Edinburgh and a six-month-old Prince Charles, taken in 1949; the Prince of Wales’s 70th birthday family portrait, wedding photos of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank; the Cambridges’ family photo; and a black and white picture of her father King George VI in 1917.
The Queen, who has reigned for 66 years, added: “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 paid tribute to friends and family members, who are not longer with us.
“At Christmas, we become keenly aware of loved ones who have died, whatever the circumstances.
“But of course, we would not grieve if we did not love.”
Her Majesty, wearing an ivory cocktail dress by Angela Kelly during her speech, said that “peace on earth and goodwill” is “needed as much as ever”.
With Parliament and the nation divided overBrexit, her words couldn’t be more apt.
Although the Queen is politically neutral and never expresses her views on issues, it seems all the more fitting that she calls for unity at this time.
“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.”
Speaking about the birth of Jesus and the Christmas story, she placed emphasis on that theme, adding: “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.”
Tributes to the Armed Services and Commonwealth were also included in her Christmas message.
Earlier today, the Queen and the royals attended the annual Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene in Sandringham.
– This article first appeared on Yahoo