Maria Puente, USA TODAY
Published 9:06 a.m. ET Dec. 24, 2019 | Updated 1:38 p.m. ET Dec. 25, 2019
This year’s address, filmed in advance by the BBC in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle, and which aired Wednesday at 10 a.m. EST, focused on a theme of reconciliation in the life of Jesus and in marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day in June.
“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,” she says, talking about the need for forgiveness.
She points to the D-Day anniversary – she was among numerous world leaders who marked the day in a June commemoration – as an example of how former fierce enemies can overcome the past to move forward together.
“For the 75th anniversary of that decisive battle, in a true spirit of reconciliation, those who had formerly been sworn enemies came together in friendly commemorations either side of the Channel, putting past differences behind them,” she said. “By being willing to put past differences behind us and move forward together, we honor the freedom and democracy once won for us at so great a cost.”
For the broadcast, the queen wore a royal blue dress in cashmere with the sapphire-and-diamond Prince Albert brooch, according to Buckingham Palace. The brooch was a wedding gift to the monarch’s great-great grandmother Queen Victoria from Prince Albert, which she wore on their wedding day in 1840.
The queen spoke sitting near tables laden with photographs of her family, including her husband; her father, King George VI; Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla; and Prince William and Duchess Kate and their children.
Another photograph featured her with the Apollo 11 astronauts, Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, who visited Buckingham Palace after their moon landing in 1969. (The meeting, part of the hero astronauts’ post-mission world tour, was featured on a recent episode of “The Crown.”)
The royal family has had a trying year. Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan are on an extended break after several months plagued by media woes and negative press.
And in November, the queen’s son Prince Andrew the Duke of York, 59, stepped back from royal duties due to a scandal over his former friendship with American convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
As usual, the media probed for meaning in the selection of pictures set up around the queen during her speech, noting that in previous years pictures of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan and of Prince Andrew were included.
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