Queen Elizabeth II delivers her traditional Christmas message

Queen Elizabeth II delivers her traditional Christmas message

The Queen will use her Christmas message to pay a rare public tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, praising his "unique sense of humour" in the year of their 70th anniversary.

The 96-year-old prince, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, has been at the queen's side throughout her 65 years on the throne, and has regularly grabbed the headlines with his off-color comments. "You weren't expected to be around that long".

Twenty-two people were killed and many more injured at Manchester's Ariana Grande concert in May, followed by an attack near London Bridge in which eight people were killed and dozens wounded.

In her 3pm speech, The Queen will say: "This Christmas, I think of London and Manchester, whose powerful identities shone through over the past twelve months in the face of appalling attacks".

Her message's main theme was the importance of home.

The Queen described a hospital visit immediately after the Manchester attack as "a privilege because the patients I met were an example to us all, showing extraordinary bravery and resilience".

She also referred to the upcoming wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, by saying they look forward to welcoming new members into the family next year.

"Even Prince Philip has decided it's time to slow down a little, having, as he economically put it, "done his bit".

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"We think of our homes as places of warmth, familiarity and love".

The queen began by introducing an excerpt from her first televised Christmas message, from 1957.

This year's annual address has been produced by Sky News and was recorded in the palace's 1844 room which is decorated with a large tree and features family photos.

She also commended the country's emergency services, which have endured a hard year with a series of terror attacks in London.

She said: "I don't know that anyone had invented the term 'platinum" for a 70th wedding anniversary when I was born.

Markle, who was shown briefly in the program's closing images, attended a Christmas carol service with the royal family on Monday at a church near the queen's Sandringham estate, in Norfolk, England.

She and Harry, 33, who are now living together in a two-bed cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace, will also take part in the traditional walk to mass by the entire royal family.

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