Queen speaks of hope in 2011 Christmas Day message


Watch the Queen's Christmas message in full

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The Queen has used her annual Christmas Day broadcast to speak of courage and hope in adversity.

The message was recorded before her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, was treated in hospital for a blocked coronary artery.

Prince Philip is still in hospital, and has missed a church service attended by the rest of the Royal Family.

The Queen also spoke of "the importance of family", and called the Commonwealth a family "in the truest sense".

In her message, recorded on 9 December, the Queen said the Royal Family had been inspired by the courage shown in Britain, the Commonwealth and around the world.

'Source of courage'

She noted the resilience of communities in New Zealand after earthquakes, Australia after flooding and Wales after the mining disaster at Gleision Colliery.

The Royal Family including, for the first time, the Duchess of Cambridge, greeted well-wishers outside church

"We've seen that it's in hardship that we often find strength from our families; it's in adversity that new friendships are sometimes formed; and it's in a crisis that communities break down barriers and bind together to help one another," she said.

"Families, friends and communities often find a source of courage rising up from within.

"Indeed, sadly, it seems that it is tragedy that often draws out the most and the best from the human spirit."

The Queen, who is a great-grandmother, also talked about the Commonwealth's "family", with its "shared beliefs" and "mutual values".

She also reflected on her own family, in a year in which her grandson Prince William got married and Prince Philip turned 90.

Prayers said

The prince had a coronary stent fitted after suffering chest pains on Friday. He spent Christmas Eve - and so far Christmas Day - at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire.

Earlier, prayers were said for the prince during the Royal Family's traditional Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church on the family's Sandringham estate.

Prince Philip Prince Philip turned 90 in June

Afterwards, the royals - including, for the first time, the Duchess of Cambridge - greeted well-wishers. The Queen attended the service, along with the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, and the Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips with her husband Mike Tindall, whom she married earlier this year.

Family members are going to visit the duke, who is said to be eager to leave hospital, later.

In the Queen's message, footage of the wedding of her granddaughter Zara Phillips to Mike Tindall and Prince William's marriage to Kate Middleton was played as she spoke of her own family.

"The importance of family has, of course, come home to Prince Philip and me personally this year with the marriages of two of our grandchildren, each in their own way a celebration of the God-given love that binds a family together," she said.

She spoke of the importance of forgiveness and said the world was "going through difficult times".

"Finding hope in adversity is one of the themes of Christmas," she said.

"Jesus was born into a world full of fear. The angels came to frightened shepherds with hope in their voices: 'Fear not', they urged, 'we bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people'."

The monarch also said: "Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves - from our recklessness or our greed."

Penned speech
The Queen attends a Christmas Day church service

The Christmas address is written by the Queen herself - one of the rare occasions where she does not turn to the government for advice.

The broadcast, in which the Queen wore glasses and a strawberry red dress by Angela Kelly, was filmed in Buckingham Palace's 1844 room.

Pupils from St Joseph's Catholic Infants' School in Camberwell, south London, are seen performing a scene from a nativity play.

It concludes on the palace forecourt with the Band of the Irish Guards playing the carol O Little Town of Bethlehem.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    Amecan's love money!
    Thus in God We Trust on the dollor note, ,means we trust that dollor gonna buy something. That gives us security.
    The God the Q is talking about,many Americans don't get that type of security feeling from.
    The anti Christians in this county would have a field day crying
    mixing church with state. Americans like the food stamp security stuff,

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.

    I have posted and the moderators have not allowed my comments despite the fact that I WAS moderate. There is very little point in creating a forum and then not allowing debate. Or is there?

  • rate this

    Comment number 58.

    The reason we need ther Royal Family is precisely because they can express opinions no elected politician would be allowed by their party and/or the EU, and are therefore not represented. Also, since they have no real power, their opinions don't have to be implemented. Those are two huge and important differences.
    I thought the queen was very brave, and said things that needed to be said.

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    An opportunity to make a plea for common sense and to ask the British people to think about scrapping the Monarchy at the end of her reign was missed. We can only hope that by next year she has more resolve. To her American supporters, I can only ask, why? Oh yeah Show-biz.

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    The Queen is a symbol for all Commonwealth countries to rally around. Her Majesty has little to no political power.
    Offers moral guidence instead.
    Promotes western values and goodwill between everyone.

    So why does everyone diss the crown - seems like a good influence to me.
    I am Canadian and I support the Royal Family.

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    #33 The Rep of North England
    "I believe we should live in a democratic country."
    That's good to hear, have a listen to the country.

    "Myself or any of my family for generations have never been asked if we want to pay for these people."
    Then why don't you start up your own little minority group?

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    15 Minutes ago
    What a wonderful and inspirational message from the Queen. This message should come from every pulpit and from every higher power leader to the people they serve.

    Not having to seek popularity in a political beauty contest enables her to speak outside that.

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    What a wonderful and inspirational message from the Queen. This message should come from every pulpit and from every higher power leader to the people they serve. God Bless the Queen and the Prince in his recovery time, and also the Royal Family. Indeed we need to go through the fire before we can gain the wisdom to help others. The Queen has certainly had her share of going thru the fire .

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    5 Minutes ago
    Nice Speach your British Queen gave.
    If Obama gave a speach like that here in a America the extream liberals would have him impeach in a heartbeat. The conservitives would be glad to help.

    Given what is printed on the USD1 note in my wallet, why is that?

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    Nice Speach your British Queen gave.
    If Obama gave a speach like that here in a America the extream liberals would have him impeach in a heartbeat. The conservitives would be glad to help.

  • rate this

    Comment number 50.

    It says a lot about our so called "freedoms" and "democracy" when the BBC won't allow our comments to be published on this debate until they have read them. They don't do this for other topics we discuss.
    The UK is clearly no more free than China or Russia ! Shame on you BBC !

  • rate this

    Comment number 49.

    Wasn't our queen great? She preached the Gospel in her Christmas speech! This is very significant. I believe that Queen Elizabeth will do or say something very significant before the end of her reign. Could this be it?

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    I am fine (ish) about having some relic of hereditary rule, and all the posturing that comes along with it, I just want no part of it..well apart from taking from my taxes. What I object to is this tissue thin deference to the divine as if we are somehow ruled by “it”. I'm telling you, with Cameron’s recent superstitious talk and the Queen too there will the pantomime that is US politics.

  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    As a Canadian, anti-monarchists should realize that without the distinction of government that the Crown represents, we would have been swallowed up by the US years ago.

  • rate this

    Comment number 46.

    More brainwashing by the Royals & the right wing establishment. If the Royals value family so highly why were they not upset when Diana died ? Why did no members of the Royal Family visit the Queen Mother when she was in hospital for a few weeks ? Why does the Queen stop Fergie from attending the family Christmas dinner with her own daughters ? The Royals have the worst family values of anyone.

  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    Some say that travel "broadens the mind". A few degrees from universities also helps. Last but not least a compassion and understanding of the complexity of the world we live in is also useful. A selected list of your bullet points "North of England" does not make a compelling argument - indeed to the contrary. But keep digging - I go out now a for a beer with some friends and enjoy Xmas :-)

  • rate this

    Comment number 44.

    42.The Republic of North England
    9 Minutes ago
    So apparently the lot we pay for aren't like the North Korean nutters at all?

    I recall hearing that one of Prince Philip's motions was preserved onboard a warship after he visited the heads. So that distinction between our royal family and theirs is immediately obvious.

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    I was so happy when the Queen finally came to Dublin this year, and it was a great success, i for one am looking forward for her return, i loved the speech and glad she included the irish trip in it. Happy Christmas to the Royal family and everyone.

  • rate this

    Comment number 42.

    So apparently the lot we pay for aren't like the North Korean nutters at all?

    1. They are classed as being given the role by God.

    2. The people have no say on their position.

    3. They are both hereditary concerns.

    4. They are above the law.

    5. They are revered by some who have never met them and have absolutely no idea what they are really like.

    The only difference appears to be boiler suits.

  • rate this

    Comment number 41.

    2 Hours ago
    It is so very sad that we in America do not have a figure head like the Queen that can unite us spiritually. Imagine our President Obama referring to Christmas as a "great Christian festival". Britain is a truly civilized country. I envy you Brits.
    God save the queen !!!

    Just move the Canadian border down to meet Mexico. Wecome Home


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