Queen's Christmas message hails Olympic stars

The Queen The message will be transmitted on both television and radio at 15:00 GMT on Christmas Day

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The Queen is to pay tribute to the nation's Olympic and Paralympic athletes in her Christmas broadcast.

She will hail the "splendid summer of sport" and highlight how the sportsmen and women allowed spectators to feel part of the "excitement and drama".

For the first time the address will be broadcast in 3D.

On Sunday, the Queen missed church as she was recovering from a cold, Buckingham Palace said. But she is expected to attend on Christmas Day.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said the speech, which will be broadcast in full on Christmas Day, would focus on "service, achievement and the spirit of togetherness".

During the address the Queen will say: "As London hosted a splendid summer of sport, all those who saw the achievement and courage at the Olympic and Paralympic Games were further inspired by the skill, dedication, training and teamwork of our athletes.

The Queen with producer John McAndrew and director John Bennett Behind-the-scenes footage shows the Queen viewing the broadcast with 3D glasses.

"In pursuing their own sporting goals, they gave the rest of us the opportunity to share something of the excitement and drama."

The Queen had her own starring role in the London Olympics, declaring them officially open after appearing to parachute into the stadium with James Bond.

It has been an eventful year for the royal family, with the Queen celebrating her Diamond Jubilee in June, marked with UK-wide celebrations.

She also became the first British monarch to reach a 65th wedding anniversary.

But there were health scares, with Prince Philip, 91, forced to miss some key events during the Jubilee celebrations after being taken to hospital with a bladder infection.

'Absolutely lovely'

Earlier this month, her grandson Prince William announced that his wife the Duchess of Cambridge was expecting a baby.

Behind-the-scenes footage of the Christmas message, made on 7 December, has been released, showing the Queen meeting senior staff from Sky News which produced the broadcast this year.

In other footage she wears 3D glasses as she watches part of the broadcast.

The message was recorded in Buckingham Palace's white drawing room with the Queen wearing a fine silk tulle gown by Angela Kelly.

The Christmas address is written by the Queen and usually has a strong religious framework, reflects current issues and draws on her own experiences over the past year.

Her use of 3D technology comes 80 years after George V first broadcast a Christmas speech on the radio and started the 25 December tradition.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said the monarch thought the broadcast was "absolutely lovely".

She added: "We wanted to do something a bit different and special in this Jubilee year, so doing it for the first time in 3D seemed a good thing, technology-wise, to do."

The message will be transmitted on both television and radio at 15:00 GMT on Christmas Day.

It will be available on the Royal Channel on the YouTube website and will also be shown in Commonwealth countries.

The broadcast will also be screened in standard and high definition.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 67.

    33.ClydeHouse - "......Surely, part of the excitement of the Queen's message is waiting to hear, on Christmas Day, Her address........"

    No need to wait, it is the same as always......

    ....Buckingham Palace......London......you spot it a mile off with all the US tourists & sycophantic Brits drooling outside the gates.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    @42 "The Queen has made a great contribution to this Country "

    Can you justify this comment with some examples?

  • rate this

    Comment number 65.

    Merry Christmas to Her Majesty and HRH Prince Philip.

    To all the sad old republican detractors: Bah, humbug!

  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    Seriously,as an ex soldier I am fed up with the way everyone thinks the Royals do a hard job..They don't.
    Harry and William are wrapped up in cotton wool and can get out of a Tour of Duty with a snap of the fingers.Working Class Soldiers do not have that luxury.

  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    Just when I thought the queens speech could not get any worse .. Now its 3D ! Humbug to me you say ! well I am going to be lucky if I have enough money for heating over the next week while this woman in beemed into peoples home in 3D!
    Phaaaaa! to this commercialized money grabbing time of year to you all !

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    #44 If we overthrew the monarchy their wealth would soon be blown. Currently the money they bring in through tourism + the-like exceeds the money we pay them to exist. I'm no royalist, but it seems common-sense that the royals (who do work, by-the-way) remain in-situ at least while they represent good value. The Queen's message is a Christmas one but there aren't very many merry folk around today!

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    The Windsor family are an increasingly secretive self serving collection of wasters. Unelected they are allowed to attend cabinet, avoid tax (Duchy of Cornwall) and avoid FOI requests. They make this country a laughing stock, ask some non-Britons, don't just rely on the Mail and Express.

    Republic Now.

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    KevParkin: The Queen generates far more revenue for the UK than it costs to maintain the illusion of wealth for her. If she was truly wealthy then she wouldn't have been reduced to tears when the state insisted on decommissioning the one place she felt safe, secure and at home: the Royal Yacht Brittania. The so called wealth of the monarchy is tied into buildings and non-saleable jewellery!

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.

    Nothing against the Queen but what about some praise for us plebs. Its like running a marathon each day trying to earn just enough to pay the bills, keep the kids happy, well behaved and keep a roof over our heads.........One day we might be appreciated for the contribution we make in maintaining a relatively civilized society.

  • rate this

    Comment number 58.

    Her James Bond sketch during the Olympic ceremony was well worth the £16.64 she has cost me.

    That's £16.62 in my life time, and that's using today's statistic, so is probably massively over estimated.

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    Awesome. I really hope she has the Royal Scepter with her and tries to hit people on the head in a kinda Jaws 3D kindaway!

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    @44 KevParkin

    The difference here is that people on benefits dont work and the main Royal Family work harder than the average person. I am fully supportive of reducing the funding to the extended royal family that hang on and make them work but for the main Royals i think they do a great job for the money they receive

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    Elizard-beth the queen is a reminds me of Jane Badler fromV with the glasses on thanks for the 3d technology to see the truth laugh out load

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    39. I'm afraid it wouldn't have made great TV, and let's face it there would be no Olympics like we have without TV. It's purely for entertainment not for the advancement of civil society. I often think the media, establishment, Royal Family live in this alternate world which is parallel to the real one. Unfortunately there seems to be a large minority who lap all this stuff up.

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    Love 'er or 'ate er, the UK wouldn't be the same without the Queen.

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    Its pretty weak that details of the Queen's Speech need to be released before hand. Kind of makes watching it like a repeat.

    As for her supposed political influence, I would presume a hereditary head of state who has had a life long responsibility to the country to have a more honorable intent and motivation than the careerists of any party. She of course doesn't need to get reelected.

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    48. mrphillyc
    33. Clydehouse

    "Surely, part of the excitement of the Queen's message is waiting to hear, on Christmas Day, Her address."

    This is quite simply one of the funniest things i've read in a while!

    Excitement!? What excitement..?? My god Christmas in your household must be an absolute scream... "Charades anyone"
    Personally, I can hardly contain my bowel movements...

  • rate this

    Comment number 50.

    Nurses, careworkers, and unsung heroes everywhere, thank you and merry xmas. Remember the Treaty of Brussells - don´t eat too many.

  • Comment number 49.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    33. Clydehouse

    "Surely, part of the excitement of the Queen's message is waiting to hear, on Christmas Day, Her address."

    This is quite simply one of the funniest things i've read in a while!

    Excitement!? What excitement..?? My god Christmas in your household must be an absolute scream... "Charades anyone"


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