Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II leaves after attending the Christmas day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham in Norfolk, England, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. (AP PhotoFrank Augstein)

The Queen offers wishes for peace in annual Christmas speech

A chauffeured limousine delivered the 92-year-old monarch to St. Mary Magdalene Church

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II wove personal reflections into her annual Christmas message, offering the customary wishes for peace and saying she hoped she had attained a measure of wisdom during her 92 years.

“Some cultures believe a long life brings wisdom,” Elizabeth said in a pre-recorded message broadcast Tuesday. “I’d like to think so. Perhaps part of that wisdom is to recognize some of life’s baffling paradoxes, such as the way human beings have a huge propensity for good and yet a capacity for evil.”

On a lighter note, the queen noted that 2018 was a busy year for her family: two weddings, two new babies and another due next year.

“It helps to keep a grandmother well occupied,” she said.

The annual message was broadcast to many of the 53 Commonwealth countries after the queen and senior royals attended a church service on the outskirts of one of her country estates.

Elizabeth and other members of the British royal family received cheers from a Christmas crowd when they arrived.

A chauffeured limousine delivered the 92-year-old Elizabeth to St. Mary Magdalene Church, while younger royals walked from nearby Sandringham House.

Prince Charles led the way, followed by his sons: Prince William and his wife, Catherine, and Prince Harry and his pregnant wife, Meghan.

Harry and Meghan, who are expecting their first child in the spring, walked arm in arm next to William and Catherine. Many in the crowd wished them “Merry Christmas” as they strolled to the church in the English countryside on a cold, wintry morning.

During the service, the congregation sang the traditional carols “O Little Town Of Bethlehem,” ″Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

After the 45-minute service, people gave them flowers as they headed back for a traditional Christmas lunch.

The queen’s husband, Prince Philip, who is 97 and largely retired from public life, did not attend the service. Charles’ wife Camilla, who is recovering from flu, also missed church.

William and Catherine’s three children — Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 3, and 8-month-old Prince Louis, also stayed home.

Prince Andrew, the queen’s son, arrived by car with his mother. Princess Eugenie, another of the queen’s grandchildren, arrived with husband Jack Brooksbank.

Britain’s royals usually exchange small gifts on Christmas Eve, a practice popularized by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The queen typically frowns on extravagant gifts, and many of the presents are novelty items.

When the queen was younger, Christmas meant a brisk family walk through the woods on Christmas or an excursion on horseback.

Elizabeth made her first Christmas Day broadcast on the radio in 1952, the year she ascended to the throne. She made the move to television in 1957.

She has broadcast the message each year since, with the exception of 1969. The queen felt the royal family had gotten enough TV exposure that year while allowing unusual access for a TV documentary.

That year, the message only appeared in writing.

___

Gregory Katz And Frank Augstein, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

City hall, RCMP getting complaints about lack of physical distancing

So far, there’s no public health order to enforce the safety measure

Northern Health ready for COVID-19 surge

Health authority confident with inventory of ventilators

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Uplands Elementary students get chance to wave at teachers

Students haven’t seen teachers in nearly 3 weeks

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Most Read