QUEEN: IT’S BEEN A BUMPY YEAR
Her Majesty’s verdict on turbulent time for us all
THE Queen has spoken publicly for the first time about the Royal Family’s “bumpy” year.
In her Christmas Day message, she admits 2019 has not been a vintage year for them – or the UK. The monarch,
who has repeatedly tried to heal divisions within the royals and the nation, describes “how small steps taken in faith and in hope can overcome long-held differences to bring harmony and understanding”.
In the message, which will be televised tomorrow, Her Majesty, 93, adds: “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.”
Wearing a blue cashmere dress by her favourite designer Angela Kelly, the Queen can be seen sitting at a desk in front of a large Christmas tree, surrounded by photos of her family.
She also chose to wear a sapphire and diamond brooch to mark the 200th anniversary of Prince Albert’s birth.
The Prince Consort gave the bejewelled pin to Queen Victoria on the day before their wedding in 1840.
Emphasising her message of reconciliation, the monarch recalls that in June, the UK hosted an international event in Portsmouth to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
It was attended by world leaders including US President Donald Trump, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.
The Queen says: “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 has spent the past few years urging people with opposing views to find a compromise on Brexit.
Friends have also said that within her family, she has tried to act as a peacemaker – despite facing some difficult decisions.
Last month, she was forced to ask Prince Andrew to step back from public life after a disastrous TV interview about his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
She also had to deal with trouble behind the scenes after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex publicly admitted they were struggling in the public eye.
The Daily Express revealed in November that the Queen had tried to help the couple, and regularly visits their home when she is staying at Windsor. But sources have claimed Her Majesty has been disappointed by the approach of the Sussexes to their royal duties.
The Queen has also had to face her own controversies this year.
In September, she was dragged into a constitutional crisis after approving an unlawful suspension of Parliament amid an increasingly toxic national debate over Brexit.
The events of this year have prompted comparisons with 1997, when Princess Diana died and the monarchy’s popularity plunged.
However, it has not come close to the Queen’s “annus horribilis” of 1992, when three of her children’s marriages collapsed and Windsor Castle went up in flames.
She is said to have missed having the Duke of Edinburgh by her side to offer advice for much of this tumultuous year. Yesterday, Philip, 98, spent another day in hospital after undergoing treatment for an undisclosed condition. He officially retired in August 2017.
The Christmas Day message – introduced by the Queen’s grandfather George V in 1932 – has been produced by the BBC. It will be shown at 3pm.
The Queen recorded it at Windsor Castle after the election but before Philip was admitted to King Edward VII’s Hospital.
Her Majesty in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor surrounded by family photos