The Queen described Christmas as "a time to remember all that we have to be thankful for"

By Erin Hill
October 05, 2016 02:19 PM
John Stillwell/AFP/Getty

Happy holidays from the Queen!

Queen Elizabeth made her annual Christmas Day address on Friday. This year, the message was pre-recorded from Buckingham Palace.

The tradition began in 1932 by the Queen s father, George V, who delivered his first speech over the radio from Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

Queen Elizabeth gave her first broadcast live on the radio in 1952 and in 1957, her speech was televised for the first time.

In this year’s message, the Queen described Christmas as “a time to remember all that we have to be thankful for.”

In a year which marked the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, the Queen offered renewed thanks for the service and sacrifice of those who took part in the conflict.

She also gave thanks to “the people who bring love and happiness into our own lives,” starting with family.

“One of the joys of living a long life is watching one s children, then grandchildren, then great-grandchildren, help decorate the Christmas tree. And this year my family has a new member to join in the fun!” she said, referencing 7-month-old Princess Charlotte.

The Queen s family gathered together in Sandringham this week to celebrate the holiday season with one another.

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Prince William, Princess Kate and Prince Harry joined the Queen for Christmas services at St. Mary Magdalene church earlier in the day.

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Reflecting on 2015 and the deadly terrorist attacks that have claimed hundreds of lives, the Queen said: “It is true that the world has had to confront moments of darkness this year, but the Gospel of John contains a verse of great hope, often read at Christmas carol services: ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’ ”

She also looked ahead to her milestone 90th birthday in April.

“I am looking forward to a busy 2016, though I have been warned I may have ‘Happy Birthday’ sung to me more than once or twice,” she said.

The Queen, dressed in a cream suit with a festive blue pin and her ever-present pearls, spoke confidently from her desk in the 18th Century Room in Buckingham Palace. And perched atop her wooden desk were a few familiar family photos – her grandson William and his family on Princess Charlotte’s christening day, a glamorous shot of her son, Prince Charles and wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and a candid outdoor photo of the Queen and husband Prince Philip.