The Queen will acknowledge a 'bumpy' 2019 in her Christmas address, which will be shown across a number of television channels at 3pm on Christmas Day. Thought to be alluding to political disagreements in the UK and perhaps some challenges within her own family, Her Majesty will comment on how "small steps" can be significant, and ultimately break down "long-held differences". The head of state will also highlight the 75th anniversary of the Second World War D-Day landings, and how former "sworn enemies" joined together in friendly commemorations to mark the milestone in 2019.
The Queen's 2019 Christmas photograph
She will tell viewers: "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. By being willing to put past differences behind us and move forward together, we honour the freedom and democracy once won for us at so great a cost."
During the speech, which will be broadcast to the nation and the Commonwealth, the Queen, speaking about the life of Jesus and the importance of reconciliation, will add: "...how small steps taken in faith and in hope can overcome long-held differences and deep-seated divisions to bring harmony and understanding… 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."
The Queen will reference the 75th anniversary D-Day commemorations
The message, produced by the BBC, was recorded in Windsor Castle's green drawing room after the General Election but before Prince Philip was admitted to a private London hospital for treatment for a pre-existing condition. The monarch is filmed sitting at a desk featuring photographs of some of her family with a large Christmas tree in the background.
One picture shows the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children - Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis - perched on and around a motorbike and side car, in an image that is known to have been used for the family's Christmas card.
The monarch has a sweet photo of Charles and Camilla on her desk
Other family photographs that can be seen on the desk include a portrait of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, which marked the 50th anniversary of Charles being invested as the Prince of Wales. There is also a black and white image of the Queen's father King George VI sending a message of hope and reassurance to the British people in 1944.