Tuesday, May 24

Her Majestry deliver her Christmas message



The Queen will use her Christmas Day broadcast to deliver an upbeat message with the theme of inspiration, highlighting the importance of learning from ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Reflecting on the past 12 months, Her Majesty will say in her festive message: I often draw strength from meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things: volunteers, carers, community organisers and good neighbours; unsung heroes whose quiet dedication makes them special.

They are an inspiration to those who know them.

Every year her pre-recorded message is broadcast at 3pm on Christmas Day and shown in all Commonwealth countries.

It is written by the Queen – drawing on her own experiences over the past year, often with a strong religious message reflecting her faith.

It is one of the rare occasions when Her Majesty does not turn to the Government for advice, and is able to voice her own views.

Speaking of those who have inspired the UK and Commonwealth this year, she will talk of the success of Olympic and Paralympic athletes and the hard work carried out by the hundreds of charities she supports as patron.

A picture taken during the filming of the broadcast shows her sitting with photographs of Prince Philip and Prince Charles alongside her.

© Getty Queen and Prince Philip There will also be a nod to the achievements of her own family.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award marked its 60th anniversary this year, and The Prince’s Trust has celebrated 40 years of helping young people.

The Queen traditionally spends Christmas at Sandringham with her family.

On Wednesday, the Queen and Prince Philip delayed their train journey there because they both had heavy colds, but on Thursday the royal couple flew straight to Sandringham House by helicopter.

Crowds are again expected outside St Mary Magdalene Church at Sandringham this morning to watch the Royal family arrive for the morning service.

Queen too ill to attend Sandringham Christmas Day church service for the first time ever

The Queen missed the traditional Christmas day church service at Sandringham for the first time in almost 30 years as she continues to fight a heavy cold, Buckingham Palace said.

The 90-year-old monarch has attended the annual service ever since the Royal family began visiting Sandringham in 1988. Before then, the family stayed at Windsor for Christmas.

This morning, Prince Charles, The Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Harry, the Earl of Wessex and Prince Andrew were seen making their way from Sandringham House to the service.

Hundreds of people had gathered outside the church, with some fans arriving before dawn.

The Queen and Prince Philip, 95, were stuck down with colds earlier this week and had to delay the departure of their holiday by 24 hours.

Buckingham Palace revealed on Wednesday the royal couple had both come down with “ heavy colds”, leading to the last minute postponement of their annual trip.

While the Queen usually takes the train every year to her Norfolk estate, the pair made the 100-mile journey by helicopter, with Royal aides suggesting that it had turned out to be the most practical method of travelling at short notice.

In a statement issued this morning, a Palace spokesman said: “Her Majesty The Queen will not attend Church at Sandringham this morning.

The Queen continues to recover from a heavy cold and will stay indoors to assist with her recovery. Her Majesty will participate in the Royal Family Christmas celebrations during the day.”

The spokesman also said the Queen had no public engagements over the holiday period, giving her a chance to recover.

A royal source told The Telegraph: “The Queen is still recovering from her cold. “She will be up and about and taking part in Christmas, she just isn’t going outside.”

This afternoon, senior members of the royal family are expected to sit down for lunch at 1.15pm.

They are due to rise a little over an hour later to watch the Queen’s annual message on TV at 3pm – which she pre-recorded before she fell ill.

Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their two children were seen arriving at St Mark’s Church in Englefield, Berkshire, this morning.

In a break from tradition, the couple are spending Christmas with Kate’s parents, Michael and Carol Middleton.

On Tuesday, it was announced that the Queen would be stepping down as patron from 25 national organisations at the end of her 90th birthday year, with the patronages passing to other members of the royal family.