The annual Christmas address from Queen Elizabeth II delivered Tuesday from Buckingham Palace was a message encouraging the British people to hold fast to faith, family and friendships.
The address began with singing from the world-renowned Kings College Cambridge choir, which led into the inspiring message from the 92-year-old queen.
She began her address by remembering the celebrations the United Kingdom has seen in 2018, including the royal military turning 100 years old.
The queen also recounted blessings “close to home,” including two wedding and two babies in the royal family this year, as well as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s little one on the way.
The queen spoke about love and loss and how now is a time to remember those who have passed: “We would not grieve if we did not love.”
She also spoke of her father and his role in the Commonwealth countries which now make up 2.4 billion people — one-third of the world’s total population.
The queen’s heartfelt message urged those listening to discard tribalism and division in favor of faith, family and friendship.
“Through the many changes I have seen over the years, faith, family and friendship have been not only a constant for me, but a source of personal comfort and reassurance,” she said.
“Even with the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human being is always a good first step toward greater understanding.”
Finally, she closed her address with a reminder of what the Christmas season is truly about — Jesus Christ and his birth.
“This Christmas story retains its appeal because it doesn’t provide theoretical explanations for the puzzles of life.”
“Instead, it’s about the birth of a child and the hope that birth 2,000 years ago brought to the world,” she said. “Only a few people acknowledged Jesus when he was born. Now, billions follow him.”
“I believe his message of peace on Earth and goodwill to all is never out of date. It can be heeded by everyone. It’s needed as much as ever.”
The address from the queen was closed with the choir’s beautiful vocals, which mark the country’s Christmas season year after year.
It was a fitting end to an inspirational message of kindness, remembrance and Christian faith.
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