The Queen reflected on a turbulent year in Britain during her Christmas message.
Her message comes after an intense year of political debate over Brexit and several personal events affecting the Royal Family.
“The path, of course, is not always smooth, and may at times this year have felt quite bumpy, but small steps can make a world of difference,” the Queen said in the speech pre-recorded and broadcast on Christmas Day.
The Queen spoke about the commemorations that marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day in June.
“For the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of that decisive battle, in a true spirit of reconciliation, those who had formerly been sworn enemies came together in friendly commemorations either side of the Channel, putting past differences behind them,” she said.
“By being willing to put past differences behind us and move forward together, we honour the freedom and democracy once won for us at so great a cost.”
Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband, was just released from four nights in hospital. Before his release Dec. 24, Prince Charles told reporters his father was being “looked after very well in hospital.”
Prince Andrew, the Queen’s third son, stepped down this year from royal duties because of his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Prince Andrew’s photo is missing from the photos on the Queen’s desk.
And Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s photo is missing from the Queen’s Christmas speech table.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gave an interview in October where they said they struggling with media attention. Prince Harry sued two British tabloids accusing them of phone hacking.
Royals William, Kate and children, were included. One picture shows the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
There was also a black and white photo of the Queen’s father King George VI sending a message of hope to the British people during the war in 1944.
The speech was filmed in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle.
The Queen’s grandfather George VI gave the first Christmas radio broadcast in 1932. During the Second World War the Queen’s father George VI gave Christmas broadcasts to boost morale. This started the annual tradition. The first televised Christmas message was in 1957.
Updated Dec. 25, 12:34 p.m.
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