With Britain divided by Brexit, monarch will highlight need for understanding and respect
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”.
With parliament deeply divided over Theresa May’s Brexit deal and military conflicts raging in parts of the world, the monarch’s words are likely to resonate with many.
In the broadcast, recorded in Buckingham Palace’s white drawing room, the Queen, who is 92, will say: “I believe [Jesus’s] message of peace on Earth and goodwill to all is never out of date. It can be heeded by everyone.”
The monarch will highlight the importance of people with strongly opposing views bridging the gap between one another, by being civil and acting with common decency.
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 on political matters and does not express her views. But many viewers may interpret her words as a reference to the toxic mood of the public debate around Britain leaving the EU.
The broadcast was recorded on 12 December, before Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn’s angry Commons clash in which the Labour leader was accused of calling May a “stupid woman”, which he denied.
The address, which is written by the Queen, traditionally has a strong religious framework and reflects on current issues, drawing on her own experiences over the past year.
In her message, the Queen will also highlight the importance of having 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.”
During her 66-year reign, the monarch has been served by 13 prime ministers, from Winston Churchill to May, and Donald Trump is the 13th US president to hold office over the same period.