The Queen used her speech to look back on a difficult year


jen mills

The Queen used her speech to look back on a difficult year
Queen Elizabeth in Buckingham Palace after recording her Christmas Day broadcast (Picture: PA)

The Queen used her speech to pay tribute to the victims of the numerous disasters which marred 2017, from the Grenfell Tower fire to the Manchester bomb.

In her annual televised address, she described meeting the Manchester survivors in hospital as a ‘privilege’, saying ‘the patients I met were an example to us all, showing extraordinary bravery and resilience.’

Among the sad memories there was a note of hope, as she talked about welcoming new family members next year.

This is thought to be a reference to Meghan Markle, who will marry Prince Harry in the spring, as well as William and Kate’s third child, due in April.

A framed photo of Meghan and Harry was displayed with other family pictures as the monarch spoke, and the couple also featured in video footage aired at the end of the festive broadcast.

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In an apparent reference to the couple’s wedding next May, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s baby, expected in April, the Queen said this Christmas her family ‘…look forward to welcoming new members into it next year’.

The Queen also reflected with humour on milestones in her own life, from celebrating her 70th wedding anniversary in November, to the Duke of Edinburgh’s decision to step down from solo public duties.

She said: ‘I don’t know that anyone had invented the term ‘platinum’ for a 70th wedding anniversary when I was born. You weren’t expected to be around that long.’

“Home” was the theme of his year’s Christmas message, recorded at Buckingham Palace, and she highlighted how the ‘powerful identities’ of London and Manchester had shone through in the face of ‘appalling attacks’ this year.

The Queen used her speech to look back on a difficult year
(Picture: Sky News/PA)

Footage was shown of the Queen meeting teenage survivors of the suicide bombing which killed 22 people when an attacker detonated an explosive device as fans left a Manchester Arena concert by US singer Ariana Grande.

The Queen was shown at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital chatting to Millie Robson, 15, from Co Durham, and her mother, Marie, and Evie Mills, 14, from Harrogate, and her mother Karen, and father Craig.

London suffered the Westminster Bridge attack in March, which claimed the lives of four pedestrians and a police officer, and there were eight more deaths when three terrorists in a vehicle ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge then went on a knife rampage in Borough Market in June.

More: UK

Surrounding the Queen in the palace’s 1844 room, where the broadcast was recorded, were family photos including pictures of her great grandchildren Prince George and Princess Charlotte, as well as Meghan and Harry.

Ms Markle, who is spending Christmas at Sandringham with Harry and other senior royals, is likely to have watched the Queen’s message with members of the monarchy.

Her appearance in the Queen’s end of year address to the nation is another sign of how quickly she has been accepted into Britain’s most prominent family.

The message ended as it had begun with a performance by the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir, and the Queen’s closing words reflected her faith: ‘It is Jesus Christ’s generous love and example which has inspired me through good times and bad.’

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