Queen's Christmas message all about family
Queen Elizabeth delivers her annual Christmas Day message from Buckingham Palace. Her red dress was designed by Angela Kelly and she is wearing a diamond and platinum brooch, which was a 21st birthday present from the children of Southern Rhodesia.
Queen Elizabeth's annual Christmas Day message, recorded more than two weeks ago, takes on some added meaning in the wake of Prince Philip's health scare this weekend.
Filmed in Buckingham Palace’s 1844 room (see preview video below), the Queen uses her speech to highlight the importance of family.
"Of course, family does not necessarily mean blood relatives but often a description of a community, organisation or nation," she says in the five-minute broadcast, which can be seen on CBC and CTV on Christmas Day at noon.
"The Commonwealth is a family of 53 nations, all with a common bond, shared beliefs, mutual values and goals."
The broadcast, an annual TV event since 1957, comes as Prince Philip recovers from emergency surgery for a blocked coronary artery. He had stents put in to open up the arteries.
The Duke was flown via helicopter to the hospital in Cambridge on Friday from Sandringham, where the Royal Family is gathering for Christmas. None of the other family members accompanied Prince Philip, which, by all reports, is exactly how the prince wanted it.
The Queen visited the Duke on Saturday morning, along with Princes Andrew and Edward, and Princess Anne, all flying in to Papworth hospital via helicopter. Prince Charles and Camilla arrived by car soon after. They visited for 45 minutes before heading back to Sandringham. Prince Philip was "in good spirits," the palace reported.
It's unclear how long he will remain in hospital, but this type of surgery is generally followed by quick and successful recoveries.
The Queen's Christmas message marks an end to what has been a very eventful year for the royals, with two marriages (William/Kate and Zara Phillips/Mike Tindall) plus a highly-successful tour by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Canada. The 85-year-old Queen and 90-year-old Prince Philip made their own splash with tours of the Republic of Ireland and Australia.
Featured in her Christmas message are the band of the Irish Guards and children performing a scene from the Nativity play.