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Saturday, Oct 24, 2020

Queen to say it’s been a ‘bumpy year’ during Christmas message

.The Queen will acknowledge the ‘bumpy’ path that both the royal family and the nation has experienced over the last year in her Christmas Day message.
The Monarch’s comments will be interpreted by many as a reference to the toxic Brexit divisions which have continued over the last 12 months, as well as to the problems within the royal family, after Prince Andrew gave a disastrous TV interview about his friendship with a convicted sex offender.

In 2019, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, was involved in a dramatic car accident, while Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spoke about their struggles living in the public eye.

The Queen will comment on how ‘small steps taken in faith and in hope’ can be significant, and ultimately break down ‘long-held difference’.

The Monarch’s speech will be broadcast at 3pm on Christmas Day.

The head of state will also highlight the 75th anniversary of the Second World War D-Day landings, and how former ‘sworn enemies’ joined together in friendly commemorations to mark the milestone in 2019.

In her Christmas Day broadcast to the nation and the Commonwealth, the Queen, speaking about the life of Jesus and the importance of reconciliation, will say: ‘…how small steps taken in faith and in hope can overcome long-held differences and deep-seated divisions to bring harmony and understanding.’

‘The path, of course, is not always smooth, and may at times this year have felt quite bumpy, but small steps can make a world of difference.’

Commentators may interpret the Queen’s words as indicating the past year may be one she would rather forget, like 1992 which she dubbed her ‘annus horribilis’ after the marriages of three of her children collapsed and Windsor Castle went up in flames.

During the past 12 months, the most significant and damaging event for the monarchy was Andrew’s appearance on the BBC’s Newsnight programme, which has left his reputation in tatters.

His attempt to explain his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein backfired and he was heavily criticised for showing a lack of empathy towards Epstein’s victims.

In the interview, the duke denied claims he slept with Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s victims, on three separate occasions.

Andrew has since stepped down from royal duties for the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, Harry and Meghan are spending the festive break in Canada, with their baby son Archie.

The decision to leave the UK during Christmas comes after the duke and duchess appeared in a documentary with Harry saying he and his brother the Duke of Cambridge, were now ‘on different paths’ and have ‘good days’ and ‘bad days’ in their relationship.

Meghan also described being a member of the royal family over the past years as ‘hard’ and said she was not prepared for the level of tabloid newspaper interest in her life since her marriage to Prince Harry.

Philip, aged 98, was criticised after being involved in a car crash on the Sandringham estate in January that left two women in another vehicle injured, while a baby with them had a miraculous escape.

The duke faced criticism for taking too long to contact the occupants of the other car and for being seen driving without his seat-belt in the days that followed.

The message, produced by the BBC, was recorded in Windsor Castle’s green drawing room after the General Election but before Philip was admitted to a private London hospital for treatment for a pre-existing but undisclosed condition.

The Queen is filmed sitting at a desk featuring photographs of her family with a large Christmas tree in the background.

Among the pictures is a black and white image of the Queen’s father King George VI, sending a message of hope and reassurance to the British people in 1944.

The Queen is wearing a royal blue cashmere dress by Angela Kelly, first worn during the 2013 Trooping the Colour ceremony, and the sapphire and diamond Prince Albert brooch, a present from Albert to Queen Victoria on the eve of their wedding in 1840.
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