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 167.

    For comparison In 2011

    HRH cost's approx @ 200 million*, Crown Estates raised @ £230 million
    * Civil list, Security, events etc

    President Obama cost @ £1.1 Billion, raised £0
    Nicolas Sarkozy cost @ £93 Million, raised £0

  • rate this

    Comment number 166.

    Christmas would not be the same without the Queen's speech. It is part of our tradition - along with Carols from Kings College, Christmas dinner, Christmas tree etc,etc, etc. Its part of being British. If those anti-monarchist miseries can find a better country - go and live in it! Let the rest of us rejoice in what we have. Merry Christmas! Bah Humbug to the republicans.

  • rate this

    Comment number 165.

    I am a monarchist and proud. I am puzzled by the arguments of the republicans here.The Monarchy costs about £40m per year. What would the republican alternative be..an elected President I assume? The cost of the President of the United States is 20 times that of the UK monarchy, they still get to live in luxury - the annual cost of flowers alone in the White House is more then $250k!

  • rate this

    Comment number 164.

    Strange remark. The lives of citizens under Cromwells administration did not improve, he didn't help the Scots or Irish either. Perhaps if he had been as good as you claim we would still be a republic. (Hated their hair cuts). MC & HNY

  • rate this

    Comment number 163.

    It's extremely boring having the Republicans come out from under their rock to air their very dull opinions on the reasons why we shouldn't have a monarchy, every single time there is a news item remotely to do with the Royals.

    I'm all for free speech...air your opinion on the monarchy once. Then for the good of the site, you should be restricted from posting the same view for the next 6 months.

  • rate this

    Comment number 162.

    I too was impressed by the Olympic sports people's dedication to their own personal goals, however can't say watching the sports they took part in was exciting, as the sports involved are not good spectator sports outside the London Olympic period. And "courage"? None were at any risk to life or limb, just not winning. With cars and bikes going through red lights crossing a road is more dangerous

  • rate this

    Comment number 161.

    I once read a book that said there was a civil war once in England and the people against the monachy (the Roundheads) won.

    To think 361 years ago the English public were more forward thinking than the rednecks flag waving the born-elite now.

  • rate this

    Comment number 160.

    I defend anyone's right to want a Republic but not to be abusive. They should argue their case respectfully and of course are free to live in France at any time.

    Oh and the queen does actually write her Xmas address. This isn't the opening of Parliament!

    God Bless you Your Majesty, Happy Christmas, thank you for 60 years of faultless service to our Nation and long may you reign over us.

  • rate this

    Comment number 159.

    Let's have a referendum on whether we need a Royal Family. Shall we start with the Irish?

  • rate this

    Comment number 158.

    "Nice Christmas dinner and Dad falling asleep in his chair, the Queens speech on the telly. What is more English?"

    Exactly. Roll on 2014. Goodbye England, God and your Queen.

    I would prefer to be part of a forward-thinking republic, rather than an aristocracy that hasn't separated church from state and want to hark back to days of servitude, oppression, imperialism and discrimination.

  • rate this

    Comment number 157.

    Seriouly, as an ex soldier I am fed up with people knocking the Royal Family! Contrary to a sad socialist's comment, Prince Harry did a fantastic and very difficult job on his first tour of duty in Afghanistan. He did not receive any special treatment. He was exposed to real danger and soldiers doing the same job in the same location have been killed. His men respect and genuinely like him.

  • rate this

    Comment number 156.

    #127 Suzanna Yebeni - I'm intrigued about your first comment, that "poor folk pay for rich folks' expensive TVs"? What do you mean?

    Also, you don't have to watch the Queen's speech on Christmas day, you can turn over from BBC at the time the speech is scheduled.

    Finally, the Queen is not a dictator - very, very far from it.

    I am not a royalist, before you suggest otherwise.

  • rate this

    Comment number 155.

    Amazing how this brings out all the Republicans, fruitcakes etc...Meanwhile in the real world poll after poll shows the Queen and her family to be very popular in the UK......So what would you lot rather have...President Blair or Brown cos thats what you would have got...

    Do have a happy Christmas, watch the broadcast and be careful what you wish for

  • Comment number 154.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 153.

    I respect the Queens service to the country, but the Olympics left me cold, it was too politicized.You can run fast, lets hold you up as a symbol for the people to achieve, what came out later was the vast majority of Olympians went to Public school with the best facilities available.Eton has how many acres of sports field ?, while state schools have to sell them off.

  • rate this

    Comment number 152.

    148 people have bothered to comment already: marvellous. And now for the news. . .

  • rate this

    Comment number 151.

    124. John
    "... 'bright', something that your comment is not. I think you need another country to visit, perhaps for good given you detest this one so much"

    Another gratuitous insult and misrepresentation - "Do as I say and think like me or else" - from someone who perhaps would rather worship constructed icons than interrogate blatant regimes of social division on behalf of fellow citizens.

  • Comment number 150.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 149.

    Not being funny, love old Queenie n'that, but why is the Beeb telling us what she is going to tell us? Renders her speech a bit of an anti climax doesn't it (for those that avidly look forward to it).

    One of the most pointless threads I've ever seen...

  • rate this

    Comment number 148.

    .Had enough of the lauding of these athletes, most of them born into privilege. I wonder if she will manage to fit the phrase
    "inspire a generation" somewhere in her speech. Groan.


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