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

Langley intersections lead Lower Mainland for 2019 car crashes: ICBC data

Stats indicate 200th and 264th Street at Highway 1 prove the most dangerous for crashes

Dinosaurs revived for Langley animatronic auction

More than 500 robot dinosaurs, fossils, and exhibition gear are going on the block Aug. 6

Off-duty cop nabs suspected drunk driver

Call for assistance at Langley incident drew massive police response

“Hugs Over Masks” event not coming to Langley school, district says

The anti-masking group based in Ontario is planning an event in Surrey

Clash at Penzer Park not a public safety risk, Langley RCMP say

Confrontation on Monday involved people ‘known to each other’

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

UPDATE: Slow growth for wildfire near Harrison Hot Springs

Fire now burns 12 hectares, grew by 2 hectares overnight

B.C. paramedics responded to a record-breaking 2,700 overdose calls in July

Province pledges $10.5 million for expansion of overdose prevention response

Canada signs deals with Pfizer, Moderna to get doses of COVID-19 vaccines

Earlier in July both Pfizer and Moderna reported positive results from smaller trials

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

Cyclist in hospital after being hit by load of lumber hanging from truck on B.C. highway

A man is in hospital with broken ribs, punctured lung and a broken clavicle and scapula

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Most Read