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The Queen praised the resilience of London and Manchester after 'appalling attacks', in a Christmas message that also paid tribute to her husband, Prince Philip, who retired from regular royal duties this year.

The Queen pays tribute to 'strong as ever' Prince Philip in Christmas message: Her Majesty thanks her husband as she pays tribute to terror victims and jokes she has 'evolved' since her first broadcast 60 years ago

The Queen's Christmas message looked at the last year with a 'home' theme
She praised the 'powerful identities' of cities in the face of terrorist attacks
She paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh who retired from solo public duties
The Queen's pre-recorded address from Buckingham Palace was televised

By Kelly Mclaughlin and Sophie Inge For Mailonline
25 December 2017



The Queen praised the resilience of London and Manchester after 'appalling attacks', in a Christmas message that also paid tribute to her husband, Prince Philip, who retired from regular royal duties this year.

The Queen's message to the nation and the Commonwealth looked back over the previous 12 months, taking 'home' as its theme.

The 'powerful identities' of the capital and the northern English city had shone through after militant attacks as well as a devastating fire in June that destroyed the residential tower block Grenfell Tower in London, killing 71, the Queen said.

The 91 year-old monarch, whose televised address is an essential part of a traditional Christmas in Britain, said it had been a privilege to visit victims of the bomb attack at a pop concert in Manchester, as she was able to witness the bravery and resilience of survivors first-hand.

The nation endured a series of devastating terrorist atrocities during the year, beginning with the Westminster Bridge attack in March that saw four pedestrians die when an attacker, later shot dead by police, drove at them before fatally stabbing a police officer.

In Manchester a few months later 22 people - including children - were killed when a lone suicide attacker detonated an explosive device as crowds of music fans left Manchester Arena following a performance by US singer Ariana Grande.

There were more deaths in June when three terrorists in a van ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge then went on a knife rampage in Borough Market, killing eight in total. They were shot dead by police.

On the 60th anniversary of her first televised Christmas address, Elizabeth said her reflections on the year had made her 'grateful for the blessings of home and family', and praised her husband and his 'unique' sense of humour.

The 96-year-old prince, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, has been at the queen's side throughout her 65 years on the throne, and has often grabbed the headlines with his off-colour comments.

The Queen's speech in full



Sixty years ago today, a young woman spoke about the speed of technological change as she presented the first television broadcast of its kind. She described the moment as a landmark.

Six decades on, the presenter has 'evolved' somewhat, as has the technology she described. Back then, who could have imagined that people would one day be watching this on laptops and mobile phones as some of you are today. But I'm also struck by something that hasn't changed. That, whatever the technology, many of you will be watching this at home.

We think of our homes as places of warmth, familiarity and love; of shared stories and memories, which is perhaps why at this time of year so many return to where they grew up. There is a timeless simplicity to the pull of home.

For many, the idea of 'home' reaches beyond a physical building to a home town or city. This Christmas, I think of London and Manchester, whose powerful identities shone through over the past twelve months in the face of appalling attacks. In Manchester, those targeted included children who had gone to see their favourite singer. A few days after the bombing, I had the privilege of meeting some of the young survivors and their parents.

I describe that hospital visit as a 'privilege' because the patients I met were an example to us all, showing extraordinary bravery and resilience. Indeed, many of those who survived the attack came together just days later for a benefit concert. It was a powerful reclaiming of the ground, and of the city those young people call home.

We expect our homes to be a place of safety 'sanctuary' even which makes it all the more shocking when the comfort they provide is shattered. A few weeks ago, The Prince of Wales visited the Caribbean in the aftermath of hurricanes that destroyed entire communities. And here in London, who can forget the sheer awfulness of the Grenfell Tower fire?

Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who died and those who lost so much; and we are indebted to members of the emergency services who risked their own lives, this past year, saving others. Many of them, of course, will not be at home today because they are working, to protect us.

Reflecting on these events makes me grateful for the blessings of home and family, and in particular for 70 years of marriage. I don't know that anyone had invented the term 'platinum' for a 70th wedding anniversary when I was born. You weren't expected to be around that long. Even Prince Philip has decided it's time to slow down a little having, as he economically put it, 'done his bit'. But I know his support and unique sense of humour will remain as strong as ever, as we enjoy spending time this Christmas with our family and look forward to welcoming new members into it next year.

In 2018 I will open my home to a different type of family: the leaders of the fifty-two nations of the Commonwealth, as they gather in the UK for a summit. The Commonwealth has an inspiring way of bringing people together, be it through the Commonwealth Games which begin in a few months' time on Australia's Gold Coast or through bodies like the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra & Choir: a reminder of how truly vibrant this international family is.

Today we celebrate Christmas, which itself is sometimes described as a festival of the home. Families travel long distances to be together. Volunteers and charities, as well as many churches, arrange meals for the homeless and those who would otherwise be alone on Christmas Day. We remember the birth of Jesus Christ whose only sanctuary was a stable in Bethlehem. He knew rejection, hardship and persecution; and yet it is Jesus Christ's generous love and example which has inspired me through good times and bad.

Whatever your own experiences this year; wherever and however you are watching, I wish you a peaceful and very happy Christmas.


Read more: The Queen discusses terror attacks in Christmas message | Daily Mail Online
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Last edited by Blackleaf; Dec 25th, 2017 at 11:25 AM..