The Queen’s Christmas Message has been broadcast on television and radio in the United Kingdom and around the Commonwealth.
This year’s message, recorded in the State Dining Room at Buckingham Palace, features The Queen reflecting on some of the year’s key events including her visit to the ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ installation of 888,246 poppies at the Tower of London – each to mark a British and Commonwealth life lost during the First World War – of which Her Majesty said “the only possible reaction to walking among them was silence. She added, “for every poppy, a life; and a reminder of the grief of loved ones left behind.”
Her Majesty also commented on the response to the Ebola crisis, remarking that she was “deeply touched” by the efforts people had gone to help out, often at “great personal risk to themselves”.
As usual, The Queen’s Christmas Message was broadcast at 3pm on Christmas day in the UK and at equivalent times in the Commonwealth and indeed nowadays, being popular in many other countries, around the world too.
Earlier today, The Queen was joined by the Royal Family at the traditional Christmas day service at Sandringham’s nearby church – with Her Majesty arriving by car and other royals by foot – joined also this year by the Middleton family, who are staying with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at their newly refurbished Anmer Hall residence, a short way away from Sandringham House. Prince George didn’t accompany the couple to this morning’s church service however.
The church service is the only public appearance the Royal Family make on Christmas day, spending the rest of the day at Sandringham House together for Christmas lunch and other festivities.
Male members of the Royal Family will take part in the traditional boxing day shoot tomorrow before festivities draw to a close and members return home.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will remain at Sandringham until early to mid February before returning to London.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, meanwhile, are expected to stay at Anmer Hall in the long term now as Prince William continues training for his new role as an Air Ambulance Pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.