This year’s Queen’s speech had a faith-heavy message, reminding viewers of faith in times of hardship, particularly following some of this year’s events.
“It is true that the world has had to confront moments of darkness this year,” The Queen said, referring to event such as the Tunisia beach shootings and the Paris attacks.
“But the Gospel of John contains a verse of great hope, often read at Christmas carol services: ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’.”
The Queen’s speech was preceded by footage of the Royal year, including the Battle of Britain anniversary fly past, last month’s CHOGM, The Queen and Prince Philip’s visit to Germany and Princess Charlotte’s christening at Sandringham.
Referring to her ancestors, The Queen spoke of Victoria and Albert being responsible for the popularity of Christmas trees in the UK, and that Albert chose an angel for the top of the Royal tree as a reminder of the nativity story. Her Majesty described the tale of Christ’s birth as a ‘human story’ which ‘captures our imagination the world over’.
Giving a personal spin to the message, Her Majesty described one of the ‘joys of living long a life’ as being able to see her ‘children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren decorate the Christmas tree’, and that this year, her family has ‘a new member to join in the fun’.
The Queen spoke of Christmas as ‘a time to remember all that we have to be thankful for’, sitting at a desk in Buckingham Palace’s 1844 room. The desk at which she sits features three family photographs: one of four official pictures from Princess Charlotte’s christening, Prince Charles and Camilla’s wedding in 2005 and The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in the countryside, laughing.
“Despite persecution throughout his short life, Christ’s unchanging message…was simply that we should love one another,” said Her Majesty. The Christmas speech is often a time The Queen reiterates her religious beliefs, as Head of the Church of England.
The Queen talked of reflecting on those not with us at Christmas time, and that the first Christmas is often the hardest after losing someone we love.
Showing her sense of humour, Her Majesty said she had been ‘warned I may have Happy Birthday sung to me more than once or twice’, referring to her 90th birthday celebrations next year.
After the speech had finished, a choir, The Children from the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace, performed ‘Away in a Manger’ to end the broadcast.