Queen's Christmas Speech To Give Veiled Nod To Toxic Brexit Debate

During her 66-year reign, the monarch has been served by 13 prime ministers.

With parliament deeply divided over Theresa May’s Brexit deal and military conflicts still raging in parts of the world, the Queen will use her Christmas Day broadcast to say the Christian message of “peace on earth and goodwill to all” is needed “as much as ever”.

In the broadcast, recorded in Buckingham Palace’s white drawing room, the monarch will highlight Jesus’s message – often cited at Christmas.

“I believe his message of peace on earth and goodwill to all is never out of date.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 Queen, 92, will say.

Politicians on all sides have engaged in bitter wrangling for weeks as the date for Britain leaving the EU – March 29 next year – draws ever closer.

During her address the monarch will also highlight the importance of people with strongly opposing views bridging the gap between one another, by being civil and acting with common decency, reports the Press Association.

The Queen will say: “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 towards greater understanding.”

As head of state, the Queen remains publicly neutral when it comes to political matters and does not express her views on issues.

But some commentators may interpret her words as a veiled reference to the toxic mood of the public debate around Britain leaving the EU.

The broadcast was recorded on December 12 before the prime minister and Jeremy Corbyn’s angry Commons clash which saw the Labour leader accused of calling May a “stupid woman”, which he has denied.

Theresa May speaking outside Downing Street earlier this month.
Theresa May speaking outside Downing Street earlier this month.
PA Wire/PA Images

The address is written by the Queen and traditionally has a religious framework, mirroring her faith, which reflects on current issues and draws on her own experiences over the past year.

Elsewhere, May has urged Britons to “dispense” the titles Leave and Remain and instead “find common ground”

The PM, who has faced a tricky 2018 with dissent to her Brexit plans from Brussels and within her own party, said it is time for differences to be put aside and “focus on what really matters”.

Writing in the Daily Express, she suggests the concerns of voters extend beyond Britain’s departure of the European Union, citing schools, the NHS and housing as examples.

But it’s not all doom and gloom - highlights of 2018 range from England reaching the football World Cup semi-finals to the royal weddings of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank.

In her message to the nation, the Queen will also highlight the importance of her loved ones around her and her strong Christian beliefs.

She will say: “…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.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
PA Wire/PA Images

During her 66-year reign, the monarch has been served by 13 prime ministers, from Sir Winston Churchill to May, while Donald Trump is the 13th US president to hold office over the same period.

Now in her 93rd year, the monarch has eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, with an eighth on the way as Harry and Meghan are expecting their first child in the spring.

During the broadcast, produced this year by Sky News, the head of state wears an Angela Kelly ivory silk dress. The Queen’s outfit also features her gold Scarab brooch, with ruby and diamond embellishments, a 1966 gift from the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Queen is sat at a desk featuring a framed black and white photograph taken in 1948 of herself as a young Princess Elizabeth, along with Philip and a baby Prince Charles.


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