The Queen will use her Christmas Day address to highlight the “moments of darkness” the world has confronted but will also speak about the positive Christian message of light triumphing over the dark.
But the Queen, whose address traditionally has a strong religious framework reflecting her own faith, will sound an optimistic tone when she quotes a verse from the Bible.
Reflecting on the past 12 months, the monarch will say during her Christmas Day broadcast: “It is true that the world has had to confront moments of darkness this year, 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’.”
In her annual address – being screened later – the Queen will describe the festive period as “a time to remember all that we have to be thankful for”.
In a year that marked the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, the Queen will also offer renewed thanks for the service and sacrifice of those who took part in the conflict.
She will also give thanks to “the people who bring love and happiness into our own lives”, starting with family.
The Queen recorded her Christmas message seated at a desk in Buckingham Palace’s 18th Century Room, with a large Christmas tree in the background.
She is wearing a tweed day dress in white and silver by Angela Kelly which was part of an outfit worn for a Diamond Jubilee visit to Wales in 2012.
On her left shoulder is an art deco diamond and aquamarine brooch, previously owned by the Queen Mother, and around her neck are three strands of pearls.
There are three family photographs on the desk. The first was taken by celebrated fashion photographer Mario Testino to mark the christening of Princess Charlotte in July. The image shows the Duchess of Cambridge holding her daughter while the Duke holds his son Prince George.
The second photo is of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall on their wedding day in April 2005, and the final image is an informal picture of the Queen, wearing a headscarf and jacket, and the Duke of Edinburgh, wearing a flat cap and jacket, laughing as they lean on walking sticks at an unknown country location.
The Christmas address is written by the Queen and reflects current issues and draws on her own experiences over the past year. The speech is one of the rare occasions when she does not turn to the Government for advice but is able to voice her own views.
The message will be transmitted on television and radio at 3pm on Christmas Day and was produced this year by ITN. It will be available on the Royal Channel on YouTube and will also be shown in Commonwealth countries.