Queen Elizabeth’s annual Christmas message seems again on a yr during which the coronavirus pandemic solid a pall over the world however introduced out the “indomitable” spirit of those that rose to the challenges.

In her handle broadcast Friday, the 94-year-old monarch acknowledged the “difficult and unpredictable times.”

“For many, this time of year will be tinged with sadness — some mourning the loss of those dear to them, and others missing friends and family members, distanced for safety, when all they really want for Christmas is a simple hug or a squeeze of the hand,” she stated. 

“If you are among them, you are not alone, and let me assure you of my thoughts and prayers.”

With an infection charges hovering in latest weeks and plenty of hospitals nearing their capacities, the British authorities on Dec. 19 cancelled Christmas gatherings and festive looking for tens of millions in a bid to manage the unfold of the virus. The UK has reported properly over two million circumstances of the coronavirus for the reason that pandemic started and topped 70,000 deaths on Friday for the second-highest demise toll in Europe behind Italy.

Worldwide, the variety of reported circumstances was nearing 80 million, with greater than 1.7 million deaths.

Reward for front-line employees 

Whereas acknowledging the hardship skilled by many, the Queen devoted a lot of her handle to celebrating the actions of those that have stepped as much as present assist.

“Remarkably, a year that has necessarily kept people apart has in many ways brought us closer. Across the Commonwealth, my family and I have been inspired by stories of people volunteering in their communities helping those in need,” she stated.

“In the United Kingdom and around the world, people have risen magnificently to the challenges of the year, and I’m so proud and moved by this quiet, indomitable spirit.”

WATCH | Queen’s Christmas message one among hope, gratitude:

The Queen’s annual Christmas message was one among hope for a world torn aside by the pandemic, but in addition of gratitude for the sacrifices so many have made. 1:59

The Queen specifically highlighted the contributions of front-line employees and younger individuals, evoking the parable of the Good Samaritan, in addition to the Unknown Warrior, an unidentified British soldier from the First World Warfare whose tomb is at London’s Westminster Abbey.

The monarch ended her message on a notice of hope.

“The Bible tells how a star appeared in the sky, its light guiding the shepherds and wise men to the scene of Jesus’s birth. Let the light of Christmas, the spirit of selflessness, love and, above all, hope guide us in the times ahead,” she stated.

Like many others, the Royal Household has needed to adapt to the realities of the pandemic this vacation season. The Queen recorded her Christmas handle at Windsor Fort in Berkshire, the place she has been dwelling in close to isolation with Prince Philip for a lot of the pandemic.

Buckingham Palace has stated that the couple is spending Christmas “quietly” at Windsor this yr, as a substitute of internet hosting their conventional massive household gathering at Sandringham Home in Norfolk.

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