This year, Queen Elizabeth focused on the value of harmony and reconciliation in her Christmas message, Buckingham Palace said on Tuesday. After a “quite bumpy” year for her own family and Britain as it struggled with Brexit, the queen wanted to make a positive impact.
Two Short Extracts were Released
The palace released two short clips by the 93-year-old monarch’s televised Christmas Day messages, one on the life of Jesus and the other explaining why reconciliation is important. There was no indication of whether the queen will address more painful aspects of 2019 regarding the royal family, particularly the commotion around her son Prince Andrew’s links to the U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Andrew has confessed he anguished his “ill-judged” association with Epstein but never encountered anything suspicious during the time he spent with the financier who committed suicide during imprisonment in August after being arrested and charged with trafficking dozens of underage girls as young as 14 years. Epstein denied the charges.
Was it Really “Annus Horribilis” for Her?
Andrew denied the accusations by a woman who said that when she was 17 and was trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex with his friends, including the prince. There were plenty more incidents that explained why some commentators have called this year “annus horribilis” for her. Some instances included her 98-year-old husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, being involved in a car crash in January and spending the year, right until Christmas in and out of the hospital for checks, and her grandsons Princes William’s and Harry’s public falling out.
She had described 1992 in a similar way when three of her children’s marriages – including that of Prince Charles to Princess Diana collapsed and her Windsor Castle home was severely damaged in a fire.
On reconciliation, the queen spoke in the excerpt, “How small steps taken in faith and in hope can overcome long-held differences and deep-seated divisions to bring harmony and understanding”. She added, “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.”
Not only did Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson won a landslide election this month, which enabled him to finally approve his Brexit deal in the parliament, but also re-awakened calls from the north of the border for another referendum on Scottish independence.
Newspapers pored over details in the excerpts of the queen’s message and The Times noted a collection of family photographs on her desk seemed to focus attention on the direct line of succession. The queen’s message was produced by the BBC and was filmed at Windsor Castle, west of London.