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"You are not alone": Queen offers message of consolation


The Queen today delivered a message of consolation to those who “just want a hug” this Christmas, telling them: “You are not alone and I assure you of my thoughts and prayers.”

The 94-year-old monarch spoke of the coming of "light and hope" embodied in the birth of Christ when she delivered her annual Christmas message at a time when many of her subjects are separated from their families due to the pandemic.

The 3 p.m. address comes at the end of a hot year for Her Majesty, who, in addition to Covid and the resentment over Brexit, witnessed the fragmentation of her own family with the move of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to the United States.

Their decision to step down as high-ranking royals resulted in painful decisions for the monarch, including asking the couple to drop the "Sussex Royal" label – which was considered incompatible with their new status.

Her Majesty was also faced with revelations about her son Prince Andrew's friendship with pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, a scandal of a magnitude that the royals have not faced since Diana's death.

Addressing her subjects in the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth, the Queen paid tribute to the heroes of the coronavirus pandemic who rose to the challenge of helping those in need.

And she commended the emergency and charitable workers, including the men and women of the NHS, for continuing the legacy of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, known throughout history as "the lady with the lamp".

Her Majesty wore the Queen Mother's shell brooch, which she has worn on many special occasions, including Zara Phillips' wedding to Mike Tindall, and sat next to a framed photo of Prince Philip.

The speech ended with a slide show of 2020 pictures that ranged from Captain Sir Tom Moore receiving a knighthood to a family waving to their elderly relatives through a window in a nursing home.

Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir performed the Windsor Castle Christmas carol Joy To The World at the end of the Queen's annual address – a heartfelt message of hope to the country

Before the news, members of the Queen's Guard were seen playing the national anthem in the outer bailey of Windsor Castle in a classic display of pomp and pageantry

Before the news, members of the Queen's Guard were seen playing the national anthem in the outer bailey of Windsor Castle in a classic display of pomp and pageantry

& # 39; Light brings hope & # 39;: The Queen's powerful Christmas message in full

“Every year we announce the coming of Christmas by turning on the lights. And light creates more than just a festive mood – light brings hope.

“For Christians, Jesus is“ the light of the world, ”but we cannot celebrate His birth in the usual way today. People of all faiths could not gather as they would like for their festivals such as Passover, Easter, Eid and Vaisakhi But we need life to go on.

Last month, fireworks lit the skies around Windsor as Hindus, Sikhs and Jains celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights that offered joyful moments of hope and unity – despite social distancing.

“Remarkably, a year that necessarily kept people apart has brought us closer in many ways. Across the Commonwealth, my family and I have been inspired by the stories of people who volunteer in their communities and help those in need.

“In the UK and around the world, people have faced the challenges of the year brilliantly and I am so proud and moved by this calm, indomitable spirit. I would particularly like to thank our young people for the role they have played.

& # 39; This year we celebrated International Nurses Day on the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale. As with other nursing pioneers like Mary Seacole, Florence Nightingale shone a lamp of hope worldwide.

“Our frontline services shine to us today – supported by the amazing achievements of modern science – and we owe them to them.

“We continue to be inspired by the kindness of strangers and comfort ourselves that even on the darkest nights there is hope in the new dawn.

Jesus touched on this with the parable of the good Samaritan. The man who is robbed and left on the side of the road is rescued by someone who did not share his religion or culture. This wonderful story of kindness is just as relevant to this day.

“Good Samaritans have emerged throughout society who show care and respect for all, regardless of gender, race or origin, reminding us that each of us is special and equal in the eyes of God.

“The teachings of Christ have served as my inner light, as has the meaning we can find when we come together to worship.

“In November we thought of another hero – although nobody knows his name. The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior is not a huge memorial, but anyone entering Westminster Abbey must walk around their resting place and honor this nameless fighter of World War I – a symbol of selfless duty and ultimate sacrifice.

& # 39; The Unknown Warrior was no exception. That is the point. He represents millions like him who throughout our history have placed the lives of others above their own and will do so today. For me, this is a source of continued hope in difficult and unpredictable times.

“Of course, this time of year will be marked by grief for many: some grieve for those they love and others miss friends and family members who are aloof for safety when all they really want for Christmas is a simple hug or a hug a pressure on the hand.

“If you are among them, you are not alone and let me assure you of my thoughts and prayers.

The Bible tells how a star appeared in the sky, the light of which led the shepherds and sages to the scene of the birth of Jesus. Let the Christmas light – the spirit of selflessness, love and above all hope – guide you into the times to come.

"With that in mind, I wish you a Merry Christmas."

In 1992, the Queen told an audience at the London Guildhall how the last 12 months, after several royal divorces, had been an "annus horribilis" – Latin for a terrible year – which marred revelations about Diana and the Windsor Castle fire.

Although she did not refer to the sentence this year, the background of a painful 2020 remained always present in her address.

The Queen spoke about how people had responded to the devastation of the pandemic by helping others as she praised the "calm, indomitable spirit" of her subjects.

"Remarkably, a year that necessarily kept people apart has brought us closer in many ways," she said. Across the Commonwealth, my family and I have been inspired by stories of people who volunteer in their communities and help those in need.

“In the UK and around the world, people have faced the challenges of the year brilliantly and I am so proud and moved by this calm, indomitable spirit. I would particularly like to thank our young people for the role they have played.

& # 39; This year we celebrated International Nurses Day on the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale. As with other nursing pioneers like Mary Seacole, Florence Nightingale shone a lamp of hope worldwide.

“Our frontline services shine to us today – supported by the amazing achievements of modern science – and we owe them to them.

"We continue to be inspired by the kindness of strangers and comfort ourselves that even on the darkest nights there is hope in the new dawn."

Like her subjects, the Queen faced a multitude of difficulties that year, but remained a symbol of stability and national unity in a time of disruptive and often disruptive change.

As the poet Philip Larking once wrote about her: "In times when nothing stood / deteriorated or got strange / there was a constant good: / she did not change."

Earlier this year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their plans to step down as working kings. The Queen agreed to a twelve month probationary period and left the door open for Harry to return to the royal family.

Prior to their departure, the couple were told to drop the "Sussex Royal" label after the Queen and senior officials agreed that it was no longer tenable for the couple to keep the word "Royal" in their "branding" .

It was decided that Harry would keep his military ranks as major, first lieutenant, and squadron commander, but would not use his honorary military positions. He also remained sixth on the throne.

Yesterday, historian Sally Bedell Smith described the Queen's dealings with the royal ranks as "decisive and firm" but also as "human" and believed the measured response was similar to her response to Diana's death in 1997.

Among the myriad of challenges the Queen faced this year was the scandal over her son Prince Andrew's friendship with billionaire pedophile Jeffery Epstein.

Buckingham Palace announced that Andrew would step down from his royal duties for the foreseeable future in November after disastrously attempting to clear his name in a BBC interview.

Virginia Roberts Giuffre has told lawyers that she was employed as a "sex slave" and forced to sleep with the Duke after being brought to see him at least three times in London when she was 17. He vehemently denies this.

As the pandemic hit Britain, Bedell Smith said Her Majesty saw herself as a source of stability for the nation and again praised the speed with which the monarch adapted to the challenges of the Covid crisis.

She said much of the work the Queen does behind the scenes goes unnoticed and that the pandemic has, oddly enough, provided a deeper understanding of the monarchy, with "intimate" zoom calls from Balmoral and Windsor.

The academic also credited other members of the royal family, including the Wessexes and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, for having been reinforced during the pandemic.

The Queen, 94, spoke of the coming of "light and hope" embodied in the birth of Christ as she delivered her annual Christmas message at a time when many of her subjects are separated from their families due to the pandemic

The Queen, 94, spoke of the coming of "light and hope" embodied in the birth of Christ as she delivered her annual Christmas message at a time when many of her subjects are separated from their families due to the pandemic

Troops in regalia herald the beginning of the Queen's speech, which is recorded. Addressing her subjects in the United Kingdom and throughout the Commonwealth, the Queen paid moving tribute to the heroes of the Covid pandemic

Troops in regalia herald the beginning of the Queen's speech, which is recorded. Addressing her subjects in the United Kingdom and throughout the Commonwealth, the Queen paid moving tribute to the heroes of the Covid pandemic

The NHS choir's single A Bridge Over You was number one in 2015 after a neck-to-neck race with Justin Bieber's hit Love Yourself

The NHS choir's single A Bridge Over You was number one in 2015 after a neck-to-neck race with Justin Bieber's hit Love Yourself

The choir was kept in the dark about its grand assignment to appear on the Christmas broadcast and only asked to learn the Christmas carol and meet in their regular rehearsal room at Lewisham University Hospital when all was announced

The choir was kept in the dark about its grand assignment to appear on the Christmas broadcast and only asked to learn the Christmas carol and meet in their regular rehearsal room at Lewisham University Hospital when all was announced

The Queen is a devout Christian, and much of the speech was based on biblical references, particularly the Christian vision of the Infant Jesus as "the light of the world".

Her Majesty wears the Queen Mother's shell brooch, while an invisible photo of Prince Philip occupies a high place on the desk

Queen Elizabeth II wears the Courtauld Thomson scallop brooch during Royal Ascot in 2019

Queen Elizabeth II wears the Courtauld Thomson scallop brooch during Royal Ascot in 2019

The Queen donned the Courtauld Thomson Scallop Shell brooch that belonged to the Queen Mother, while a framed photo of Prince Philip appeared on her desk during her annual Christmas show at Windsor Castle.

The 94-year-old monarch opted for his mother's shell brooch, which, as the name suggests, has the shape of a shell made of rows of diamonds and a single pearl, while several diamond necklaces of different lengths dangle below.

It was designed by Lord Courtauld-Thomson, the son of a famous Scottish inventor, and produced in London in 1919 by The Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Co., Ltd. before it was left in 1944 by his sister Queen Elizabeth, the future Queen Mother. Winifred Hope Thomson.

As a valuable possession, it was worn by the Queen Mother during her 100th birthday celebrations and given to the monarch when her mother died in 2002.

Since then, Her Majesty has worn it on various special occasions – including the unveiling of the statue of the Queen Mother and the wedding of Zara Phillips to Mike Tindall.

The monarch, who wore a purple ensemble, paired her outfit with pearl earrings and three pearl necklaces as she turned on a tumultuous 12 months.

Pearls were the queen's first "serious" piece of jewelry. When her grandfather George V celebrated his silver jubilee in 1935, he gave his two granddaughters pearl necklaces.

Princess Elizabeth, then nine years old, received a necklace made from three rows of perfectly matched pearls; Princess Margaret, four years younger, got a two-row version.

The collection Elizabeth owns today includes two stunning necklaces; the 18th century Queen Anne pearl necklace and the Queen Caroline necklace made of 50 pearls, both as wedding gifts from their father.

A photo of a casual-looking Prince Philip wearing a light blue sweater and chic collared shirt, believed to have been taken in Sandringham, Norfolk in 2002, was also placed on the desk, while unlike last year there were no photos of her grandchildren or others Family members in the display.

She also referred to the tapestries of other faiths in Britain and the Commonwealth and how they also relied on the idea of ​​light as a source of hope.

“Every year we announce the coming of Christmas by turning on the lights. And light creates more than just a festive mood – light brings hope, ”she said.

“For Christians, Jesus is“ the light of the world, ”but we cannot celebrate His birth in the usual way today. People of all faiths could not gather as they would like for their festivals such as Passover, Easter, Eid and Vaisakhi But we need life to go on.

"Last month, fireworks lit the skies around Windsor as Hindus, Sikhs and Jains celebrated the Diwali Festival of Lights, which offered joyful moments of hope and unity – despite social distancing."

The Queen relied on the story of the Good Samaritan, telling of a traveler who was unclothed, beaten and left half dead on the roadside before being rescued by an outsider.

"Jesus addressed this with the parable of the good Samaritan," she said. “The man who is robbed and left on the side of the road is rescued by someone who did not share his religion or culture. & # 39; That wonderful story of kindness is just as relevant to this day.

“Good Samaritans have emerged throughout society who show care and respect for all, regardless of gender, race or origin, reminding us that each of us is special and equal in the eyes of God.

"The teachings of Christ have served as my inner light, as has the meaning we can find when we come together to worship."

She continued the analogy of personal sacrifice to help others, referring to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Westminster Abbey, which contains the bones of an unknown WWI soldier next to the earth from the Flanders battlefields.

The Queen continued: “In November we thought of another hero – although nobody knows his name. The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior is not a huge memorial, but anyone entering Westminster Abbey must walk around their resting place and honor this nameless fighter of World War I – a symbol of selfless duty and ultimate sacrifice.

& # 39; The Unknown Warrior was no exception. That is the point. He represents millions like him who throughout our history have placed the lives of others above their own and will do so today. For me, this is a source of continued hope in difficult and unpredictable times.

“Of course, this time of year will be marked by grief for many: some grieve for those they love and others miss friends and family members who are aloof for safety when all they really want for Christmas is a simple hug or a hug a pressure on the hand.

"If you are among them, you are not alone and I assure you of my thoughts and prayers."

She concluded her speech with the eternal image of the star of Bethlehem, which the wise men and shepherds brought into the barn where the baby Jesus lay.

The Bible tells how a star appeared in the sky, the light of which led the shepherds and sages to the scene of the birth of Jesus. Let the Christmas light – the spirit of selflessness, love and above all hope – guide you into the times to come.

"With that in mind, I wish you a Merry Christmas."

Happier times: This year, the Queen saw her family break up when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (right) left the UK for Los Angeles. Her relationship with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (left, with Prince Charles) has also deteriorated. This picture was taken on Christmas Day before the Sandringham church service in 2017

Happier times: This year, the Queen saw her family break up when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (right) left the UK for Los Angeles. Her relationship with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (left, with Prince Charles) has also deteriorated. This picture was taken on Christmas Day before the Sandringham church service in 2017

Among the myriad of challenges the Queen faced this year was the scandal over her son Prince Andrew's friendship with billionaire pedophile Jeffery Epstein (with whom he dated in New York in 2010).

Among the myriad of challenges the Queen faced this year was the scandal over her son Prince Andrew's friendship with billionaire pedophile Jeffery Epstein (with whom he dated in New York in 2010).

The Queen spends Christmas with Prince Philip at Windsor Castle, where she gives her annual address

The Queen spends Christmas with Prince Philip at Windsor Castle, where she gives her annual address

William and Kate say it doesn't feel right to wish the nation a Merry Christmas this year – as Charles and Camilla share a fun snap

Prince William and Kate Middleton have said it "doesn't feel right" to wish the nation a Merry Christmas this year and "wish for a better 2021 instead" – before sending their thoughts to those "alone today." spend "writes Chloe Morgan.

Prince William and Kate Middleton have said it "doesn't feel right" to wish the nation a Merry Christmas this year and instead wish for "a better 2021" (pictured)

Prince William and Kate Middleton have said it "doesn't feel right" to wish the nation a Merry Christmas this year and instead wish for "a better 2021" (pictured)

Drive to the official Kensington Palace TwitterThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 38, wrote: “Wishing you a Merry Christmas doesn't feel right this year. Instead, we wish for a better year in 2021. For those who have problems today, support is available: @GiveUsAShout @ MindCharity @samaritans @theCALMzone @TheSilverLineUK @OurFrontlineUK @NHSCharities. & # 39;

“This Christmas, our thoughts are with those of you who are alone today, those of you mourning the loss of a loved one, and those of you on the front lines who still have the energy to save your own life To put on hold Take care of the rest of us. & # 39;

Meanwhile, Prince Charles and Camilla went to Clarence House social media and wrote: "I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Christmas tree 'next to a star emoji.

This year's Christmas message also included the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS lead choir performing the Windsor Castle Christmas carol Joy To The World at the end of the speech.

Andre Levy, who sings bass parts with the choir, said today: “Only now do I digest the experience, it was too much to record that day.

“It is as if a child is suddenly given everything that is most beautiful in the world without being able to look through it and appreciate it. It was an amazing experience. & # 39;

The choir's single, A Bridge Over You, was number one in 2015 after a neck-to-neck race with Justin Bieber's hit Love Yourself.

When Bieber learned more about the rival choir, he urged fans to download their track and later became friends with the group when they met.

The global star and Chance the Rapper have teamed up with NHS staff to re-record their hit single, Holy, released last week and released by Lewisham and Greenwich in aid of NHS Charities Together and the NHS Trust Charity.

The choir was kept in the dark about its grand assignment to appear on the Christmas show and only asked to learn the Christmas carol and meet in their regular rehearsal room at Lewisham University Hospital in south east London when all was announced.

Mr. Levy, a medical records clerk at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, joined the choir shortly after its first success.

& # 39; We were absolutely clueless, everything was kept out of sight. Some of us speculated among ourselves that it might be a high profile celebrity, we even thought it might be royalty, ”Levy said.

He said the group couldn't believe the news when they heard in mid-December: “Everyone was shocked, there was a little silence, but overall there was a feeling of euphoria.

"Everyone was very excited, including me, and felt very privileged to be part of something like this."

After being notified, the choir traveled separately to Windsor due to the coronavirus and recorded the Christmas carol in the castle's St. George & # 39; s Hall.

Mr. Levy said the event was a positive way to end a difficult year: “This is like the light at the end of the tunnel.

"With everything people have been through – it was one of the toughest years in history – it's wonderful to end on a climax."

Prince William, Kate Middleton and their children, Prince George, left, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, center, in Comment Hall, Notes. Pictured is the 2020 Cambridge Christmas Card

Prince William, Kate Middleton and their children, Prince George, left, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, center, in Comment Hall, Notes. Pictured is the 2020 Cambridge Christmas Card

Prince Charles and Camilla took to Clarence House's social media and wrote, "I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Christmas Tree & # 39;

Prince Charles and Camilla took to Clarence House's social media and wrote, "I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Christmas Tree & # 39;

The Queen's Christmas Messages in Times of Crisis: How Her Majesty used her festive speech to lift the nation's spirits after difficult years

By Chris Jewers for MailOnline

There are few things the Queen hasn't seen in her 68 years as head of state, but a global pandemic was one of them through 2020.

Coronavirus has proven to be a global challenge unseen since the Spanish flu of 1918, eight years before Queen Elizabeth II was born in 1926.

During her reign, the Queen has used her annual Christmas addresses to gather the nation together during troubled times.

On the occasion of her 67th broadcast – in 1969 she only has one – the royal family released a collage of photos from their appearances over the years.

From her first address in 1952 after the death of her father, King George VI. About her speech from 1982 as British troops in the Falklands War to the 2005s when the world was rocked by the Boxing Day tsunami and London was the target of the 7 /. 7 bomb attacks.

So what can we expect from this year's address?

In a rare speech in April, the Queen addressed the nation to thank the people for following government rules during the first national lockdown to fight the coronavirus. It was seen by nearly 24 million viewers.

The Queen has used her address to the nation to thank NHS workers for their "selfless" efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus

The Queen has used her address to the nation to thank NHS workers for their "selfless" efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus

The royal family celebrated Christmas Eve with a collage of photos from the Queen's various Christmas message appearances over the years

The royal family celebrated Christmas Eve with a collage of photos from the Queen's various Christmas message appearances over the years

She ended the speech with "We will meet again" – an obvious reference to Dame Vera Lyn's famous war anthem – We will meet again.

Then a way out of the pandemic seemed a long way off, but with the recent vaccine breakthroughs and the fact that the UK was the first country to approve a coronavirus vaccine for use, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

When we look back at previous addresses, we are reminded that in years of great need there were moments we were grateful for and reasons to be hopeful.

Hence, we can expect The Queens speech this year – like many years before – to be marked by optimism and hope, mixed with grief for those lost to the virus in 2020.

1952 – The Queen's first Christmas address

The Queen's first Christmas speech in 1952 came on the radio at a time when the country – and the world – were still being hit by the aftermath of World War II and the death of King George VI, who was viewed by many as a leader Voice in the challenging time.

Like the queen, responsibility for the throne was transferred to her father at an unexpected time. The rise of King George VI Followed the abdication of his brother Edward VIII, while the Queen's father died at the age of only 56.

In her first speech at the age of only 26 and at the same desk where her father gave the nation's address every year in the study at Sandringham House, the Queen began by referring to him.

December 25, 1952: Queen Elizabeth II sends her first Christmas broadcast to the nation from Sandringham House, Norfolk

December 25, 1952: Queen Elizabeth II sends her first Christmas broadcast to the nation from Sandringham House, Norfolk

At any time during this time, my beloved father sent a message to his people in all parts of the world. Today I do this to you who are now my people.

"As before, I will speak to you from home, where I will be spending Christmas with my family."

She went on to mention those who were serving the country abroad at the time, in countries like Korea, where the Korean War was raging, Malaya, and Kenya.

George VI; King of the United Kingdom, shown as Duke of York along with Elizabeth (Duchess of York) and Princess Elizabeth later Queen Elizabeth II. Princess Margaret is the younger child. The Queen followed in her father's footsteps and gave her first Christmas address in 1952

George VI; King of the United Kingdom, shown as Duke of York along with Elizabeth (Duchess of York) and Princess Elizabeth later Queen Elizabeth II. Princess Margaret is the younger child. The Queen followed in her father's footsteps and gave her first Christmas address in 1952

“I have a special thought for those who serve their country in distant lands far from their families.

"Wherever you are at home or on the move, in the snow or in the sunshine, I greet you warmly with all the best for Christmas and New Year," she said to her millions of listeners.

She then thanked the people of the British Commonwealth and Empire for their "loyalty and affection" since taking the throne 10 months earlier and asked them to pray for them on Coronation Day the following summer.

1982 – The Falklands War and the "Sea" theme

In 1982, the Queen's Christmas show celebrated the tradition's 50th anniversary and 30 years since she first played it as Queen. It was also first broadcast from the Library of Windsor Castle.

At a time when Britain was waging war against Argentina to defend the Falkland Islands, the subject of this speech was the sea, and Her Majesty recorded the British Commonwealth's historical relationship with the ocean.

William became the conqueror after invading England by sea. It was the expeditions of the great sailors in Queen Elizabeth's day that laid the foundation for modern trade; and to this day 90 percent of it goes by sea, ”she said.

In 1982, the Queen's Christmas address focused on the theme of the Sea, where she praised the British forces who fought in the Falklands War

In 1982, the Queen's Christmas address focused on the theme of the Sea, where she praised the British forces who fought in the Falklands War

British troops aboard the SS Canberra return from the Falkland Islands. Royal Marines return from the Falklands War, UK, 1982

British troops aboard the SS Canberra return from the Falkland Islands. Royal Marines return from the Falklands War, UK, 1982

"Throughout history, seafarers around the world have had a common experience and there is a special sense of brotherhood between merchant and seafarers, fishermen, lifeboats and, more recently, sailors," she added, before making the connection created the conflict of the time.

She told viewers that earlier this year "the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy made it possible for our sailors, soldiers and airmen to save the Falkland Islanders 8,000 miles across the ocean".

She then praised the shared values ​​with other Commonwealth nations and the unity that resulted, saying: "Nothing could have demonstrated this unity more clearly than the immensely comforting support that the Commonwealth gave Great Britain during the crisis in the Falkland Islands."

The Queen also referred to the Commonwealth Games that same year to highlight the growing diversity among nations by saying "Color is no longer an indication of national origins" and praised the growing tolerance of the people at the time.

1991 – The fall of the Soviet Union

1991 marked the end of the Cold War when the first public elections were held in Russia after years under the Soviet Union.

The queen, who saw her rise and fall, used her Christmas message this year to reflect on the tremendous changes in Eastern Europe and Russia, and to highlight the importance of democratic traditions.

The Berlin Wall in front of the Branderburger Tor on the night of November 9, 1989. Thousands of celebrities climbed the wall when the news quickly spread that the GDR government would now issue an exit visa to anyone who wanted to go to the West. In the years to come, the Soviet Union would collapse, as mentioned in the Queen's 1991 speech

The Berlin Wall in front of the Branderburger Tor on the night of November 9, 1989. Thousands of celebrities climbed the wall when the news quickly spread that the GDR government would now issue an exit visa to anyone who wanted to go to the West. In the years to come, the Soviet Union would collapse, as mentioned in the Queen's 1991 speech

The Queen speaks to the nation and the Commonwealth in her traditional Christmas speech in 1991

The Queen speaks to the nation and the Commonwealth in her traditional Christmas speech in 1991

"When I first sent to you at Christmas in 1952, the world was a very different place from what we live in today," she began in 1991.

Only seven years had passed since the end of the most destructive wars in human history. Even the end of hostilities did not bring the true peace so many had fought and died for.

"What came to be known as the 'Cold War' maintained an atmosphere of suspicion, fear and fear for many years."

Suddenly, she said, things started to change when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and an agreement was made between the US and the Soviet Union to reduce their nuclear arsenals and the repressive regimes collapsed under popular pressure.

"These liberated peoples have taken, one after another, the first hesitant and sometimes painful steps towards open and democratic societies," she said, calling on the people of Britain to set an example for those forging new democracies.

She also paid tribute to the soldiers and women who fought and worked in the Gulf during the war, and the hostages whom she pointed out in last year's speech: "Our prayers for their safe return were largely answered."

1997 – The death of Princess Diana

1997 was marked by the death of Diana, Princess of Wales – first wife of the Queen's first son and second to the throne Prince Charles – in a car accident in Paris on August 31st.

Some corners accused the queen of ill-treating the tragedy that rocked the nation, and it has been well documented that the couple had a strained relationship. The Queen's Christmas message was an opportunity to change that perception.

She opened the 1997 Christmas Address with a poem, Auguries of Innocence by William Blake, on the subject of loss.

& # 39; Joy ​​and sorrow are well interwoven,

A clothing for the divine soul,

Under every grief and jaw

A joy runs with a silk cord, ”she read.

"We all felt the shock and sadness of Diana's death," she said. Thousands upon thousands of you expressed their grief most poignantly in the wonderful flowers and messages that were left in homage to you.

In 1997 the Queen raised the issue of loss after the death of Princess Diana and said: "I am very well aware that there are many of you who are alone, bereaved or suffering."

In 1997 the Queen raised the issue of loss after the death of Princess Diana and said: "I am very well aware that there are many of you who are alone, bereaved or suffering."

"It was a great comfort to those close to her as people around the world came to us here in Britain for this service at Westminster Abbey."

As she spoke, the screen showed images of floral tributes left by the public outside Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace.

"It was a great comfort to those close to her as people around the world came to us here in Britain for this service at Westminster Abbey," she added.

Then she went on to say that she and her husband Prince Phillip had a happier occasion at the abbey where they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Diana, Princess of Wales, Prince William, Prince Harry, Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Trooping the Color, June 17, 1989

Diana, Princess of Wales, Prince William, Prince Harry, Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Trooping the Color, June 17, 1989

Prince Philip and I also knew the joy of our golden wedding anniversary. We were happy to share this joy at Buckingham Palace with many other couples celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, ”she said before reaching out to other families who may have lost loved ones this year, like this the royal family had done done.

“For most of us this is a happy family day. But I am well aware that there are many of you who are alone, bereaved, or suffering.

"My heart goes out to you, and I pray that we, the happier ones, can unite to help whenever we need to, rather than" dropping in on the other side. "

2001 – September 11th and foot and mouth disease

In a year when the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York that killed 2,977 people, the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Britain's farming community, and the famine in Sudan, the Queen's 2001 Christmas programs focused on communities who work together to respond to disaster – especially religion.

"The terrorist crimes in the United States last September brought us the pain and grief of ordinary people around the world innocently implicated in such an evil," she said.

As she spoke, viewers were shown pictures of memorial services in the UK playing the American national anthem as crowds gathered to pay their respects.

The Queen's Christmas broadcast in 2001 emphasized the importance of communities responding to problems and disasters together after 9/11 and other disasters

The Queen's Christmas broadcast in 2001 emphasized the importance of communities responding to problems and disasters together after 9/11 and other disasters

Smoke pours from the twin towers of the World Trade Center after they were hit by two hijacked aircraft in a September 11, 2001 terrorist attack in New York City

Smoke pours from the twin towers of the World Trade Center after they were hit by two hijacked aircraft in a September 11, 2001 terrorist attack in New York City

In the days that followed, we tried to find ways to express our horror at what had happened. As is so often the case in our lives in times of tragedy – just like on occasions of celebration and Thanksgiving – we expect the Church to bring us together as a nation or as a community in remembrance and tribute.

In these circumstances, so many of us, regardless of religion, need our faith more than ever to support and guide us. Each of us must believe in the value of all that is good and honest. We need to let this belief fuel and influence our actions. & # 39;

Pictures were shown of the Queen and Prince Phillip visiting local and various communities as she highlighted the importance of belief in all religions.

“We all have something to learn from one another, regardless of our beliefs – be it Christian or Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or Sikh – regardless of our background, whether young or old, from the city or from the country.

& # 39; This is an important lesson for all of us during this festive season. Christmas is a moment to pause, reflect and believe in the possibilities of rebirth and renewal, ”she said.

2005 – Natural disasters and bombings in London

As in 2020 with the coronavirus pandemic, the world experienced an unprecedented natural disaster in 2004 in the form of the Boxing Day tsunami, which killed over 225,000 people in Southeast Asia.

The disaster occurred the day after the Queen's Christmas speech in 2004, which meant she had to wait twelve months to address it.

During this time, other disasters occurred. Hurricane Katrina caused deadly floods in New Orleans, a series of hurricanes in the Caribbean, and an earthquake in Pakistan and India, killing over 70,000 people and leaving millions homeless.

London, which is closer to home, witnessed its own terrorist attacks on July 7, 2005, killing 56 people and injuring 784 in a series of coordinated Islamist suicide bombings across the capital.

In 2005, the Queen praised the generous humanitarian aid and compassion of those who suffered the aftermath of natural disasters and acts of terrorism during the year

In 2005, the Queen praised the generous humanitarian aid and compassion of those who suffered the aftermath of natural disasters and acts of terrorism during the year

"The day after my last Christmas message was broadcast, the world experienced one of the worst natural disasters ever recorded," she said, opening the 2005 Christmas Address.

& # 39; The devastating tsunami hit countries around the Indian Ocean, causing death and destruction on an unprecedented scale. A series of vicious hurricanes in the Caribbean and the flooding of the city of New Orleans followed. Then came the massive earthquake in Pakistan and India in the fall. & # 39;

Then she said of pictures of remembrance services for those killed in the bombings in London: “In this country the lives of many people were completely changed by the bombings in London in July.

"This Christmas my thoughts are especially with those everywhere who mourn the loss of loved ones in such a terrible year for so many."

However, she continued to praise the humanitarian aid sparked worldwide by both the natural and human tragedies in 2005.

"People with compassion around the world responded with immediate practical and financial help," she said.

A bomb destroyed the No. 30 double-decker bus in Tavistock Square / Woburn Place in London on July 7, 2005

A bomb destroyed the No. 30 double-decker bus in Tavistock Square / Woburn Place in London on July 7, 2005

The aerial photo shows a coastal area of ​​Banda Aceh on January 5, 2005, two weeks after a powerful tsunami hit the region on December 26, 2004 following a submarine earthquake and more than 225,000 people were killed or missing

The aerial photo shows a coastal area of ​​Banda Aceh on January 5, 2005, two weeks after a powerful tsunami hit the region on December 26, 2004 following a submarine earthquake and more than 225,000 people were killed or missing

“There may be an instinct in all of us to help people in need, but in many cases I believe that it was inspired by religious belief. Christianity is not the only religion that teaches its followers to help others and to treat those around you as you would like to be treated yourself.

"It was clear that aid and financial support would come from members of all faiths and from all over the world later this year."

Then she invoked the spirit of World War II and remembered the fallen in the war. "In moments of greatest trial, the people around her seemed able to draw on inner strength to find courage and compassion."

“The past year has reminded us that this world isn't always an easy or safe place to live, but it's the only place we have. I also believe that it has shown us all how our beliefs – regardless of our religion – can inspire us to work together in friendship and peace in the interests of our own and future generations. & # 39;

2015 – The refugee crisis

The year 2015 was marked by catastrophes, terrorist attacks and the refugee crisis when people fled the war in Syria.

Using the 2015 Christmas address to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, the Queen thanked those who served in the conflict.

She then shared with the audience how her great-great-grandparents, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, popularized the tradition of the Christmas tree and put an angel on it to remind us of the story behind Christmas.

In 2015, the Queen alluded to the story of Mary and Joseph and linked them to the refugee crisis when people fled their homes in Syria and promoted kindness in the face of adversity

In 2015, the Queen alluded to the story of Mary and Joseph and linked them to the refugee crisis when people fled their homes in Syria and promoted kindness in the face of adversity

Hundreds of migrants who arrived by train in Hegyeshalom on the Hungarian and Austrian borders walk the four kilometers to Austria on September 22, 2015 in Hegyeshalom, Hungary

Hundreds of migrants who arrived by train in Hegyeshalom on the Hungarian and Austrian borders walk the four kilometers to Austria on September 22, 2015 in Hegyeshalom, Hungary

The circumstances of Jesus' birth – in a stable – were far from ideal for Joseph and Mary, but things turned out to be worse when the family was forced to flee the country. It is no surprise that such a human story still catches our imaginations and inspires all of us who are Christians around the world, ”she said.

She then linked the story of Mary, Joseph and Jesus with the refugee crisis in the Middle East in 2015.

“Although Christ was driven out and persecuted during his short life, Christ's unchanging message was not vengeance or violence, but simply that we should love each other,” she said.

“While this message is not easy to follow, we should not be discouraged. Rather, it inspires us to try harder: to be grateful for the people who bring love and happiness into our own lives, and to look for ways to pass that love on to others whenever and wherever we can. & # 39;

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