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

PHOTOS: BC Children’s lottery offers luxury downtown Victoria home as a prize

The Choices Lotto has luxury homes across the province

Island teen climber seizes last opportunity to qualify in 2020 Olympic games

Brennan Doyle, 16, heads to L.A. for Pan American Climbing Championships

University of Victoria profs take home prestigious national teaching award

Brent Mainprize and Edōsdi–Judy Thompson recognized as a 2020 3M National Teaching Fellows

Alice Munro among Nobel Prize winners urging Trudeau to deny oilsands project

Alberta premier says Teck’s Frontier mine would create 7,500 jobs, $70 billion in government revenue

Victoria modular housing complex built to house homeless Indigenous women

Spa’Qun, or ‘Flower House’ will provide shelter and cultural support

VIDEO: Alleged shoplifter caught on camera at Sidney boutique

Staff at Cameron Rose Gifts seek the public’s help locating woman

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

UPDATE: Lockdown lifted at Nanaimo high school following threats

Nearby elementary school was in hold-and-secure

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read