Queen Elizabeth Reveals What Has Inspired Her Most During Annual Christmas Message

It’s not Christmas without a message from the Queen.

Queen Elizabeth II made her annual Christmas Day address on Sunday in a pre-recorded video. This year, the video message was recorded in the Regency Room in Buckingham Palace.

The theme of this year’s address was “inspiration,” and the Queen spoke of various persons who not only achieved great things in the past year but also motivated others.

In addition to praising Olympic and Paralympic athletes from the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth, the 90-year-old monarch also spoke about the inspirational work of charities.

“I often draw strength from meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things: volunteers, carers, community organizers and good neighbors; unsung heroes whose quiet dedication makes them special,” she said. “They are an inspiration to those who know them.“

The monarch wore a jade dress with a velvet trim designed by Angela Kelly for her message. She also wore a pearl and diamond brooch which was previously worn by her mother.

The tradition of an annual Christmas address began in 1932 by the Queen’s father, George V, who delivered his first speech over the radio from Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. Queen Elizabeth gave her first broadcast live on the radio in 1952 and in 1957, her speech was televised for the first time.

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This year’s Christmas hasn’t exactly been a happy one for the royal family. The Queen was forced postponed her annual Christmas travel plans to Sandringham on Wednesday after she and Prince Philip fell ill, traveling by helicopter to the estate on Thursday rather than their usual train ride. She also was forced to pull out of the family’s annual trip to church on Sunday due to her illness. On Christmas Eve, her granddaughter, Zara Tindall, also revealed that she had suffered a miscarriage.

Read a full transcript of the Queen’s Christmas message below.

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