The year is coming to an end, and that means one thing: It’s time for the queen’s annual Christmas speech.
Buckingham Palace released excerpts from Queen Elizabeth II’s 2019 message on Monday, December 23. The full video, which was pre-recorded in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle, will air in a BBC telecast on Wednesday, December 25.
While discussing Jesus Christ and reconciliation, the 93-year-old admitted that the British royal family had a “quite bumpy” year, alluding to scandals surrounding her son Prince Andrew’s ties to the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the rift between her grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry as well as Harry and Duchess Meghan’s legal battle with the press.
“Small steps taken in faith and in hope can overcome long-held differences and deep-seated divisions to bring harmony and understanding,” the monarch said. “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.”
During her speech, Elizabeth was surrounded by photos of her late father, King George VI, her husband, Prince Philip, her son Prince Charles and his wife, Duchess Camilla, and William, 37, with his wife, Duchess Kate, and their three children: Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 20 months.
Harry, 35, Meghan, 38, and son Archie, 7 months, were noticeably absent from the lineup, but royal watchers pointed out that the portraits only included the queen’s predecessor and direct heirs. The current line of succession to the throne is Charles, 71, William, George, Charlotte and Louis, followed by Harry then Archie.
Photos from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s May 2018 wedding were included in last year’s Christmas telecast — as were Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s wedding pictures — but exceptions were likely made in honor of their relationship milestones.
Many members of the royal family, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their kids, are expected to celebrate Christmas with the queen and Philip, 98, at Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. Harry and Meghan will not partake in the annual tradition this year as they are spending the holidays in Canada with Archie and the Suits alum’s mother, Doria Ragland.
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