/Queen talks of grandson Archie in Christmas Speech

Queen talks of grandson Archie in Christmas Speech

The Queen used her Christmas message to extend an olive branch to her granddaughter-in-law Meghan Markle following a year of royal turmoil in which the Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry spent their first festive period as parents away from the Sandringham Estate.

Her Majesty’s speech came following a tumultuous year for her family, in which Prince Andrew was sacked from royal duties over his part in the Epstein scandal, the divide between the once inseparable Prince William and Harry appeared to widen, and her husband, Prince Philip, spent four nights in hospital before being discharged on Christmas Eve morning.

In her 67th annual address, the Queen acknowledged the ‘bumpy’ path her family and the country has faced but sought to build bridges with Meghan, who royal watchers point to as the source of the rumoured feud between the Sussexes and Cambridges.  

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The Queen has been 'struck' by the 'sense of purpose' younger generations have shown in tackling issues like climate change, she said in her Christmas Day message (pictured)

The Queen has been 'struck' by the 'sense of purpose' younger generations have shown in tackling issues like climate change, she said in her Christmas Day message (pictured)

The Queen has been ‘struck’ by the ‘sense of purpose’ younger generations have shown in tackling issues like climate change, she said in her Christmas Day message (pictured)

As the Queen spoke viewers saw a photograph, released a few days after Archie's birth on May 6, which captured the moment she and the Duke of Edinburgh saw Archie for the first time (pictured) as his proud parents and grandmother Doria Ragland looked on

As the Queen spoke viewers saw a photograph, released a few days after Archie's birth on May 6, which captured the moment she and the Duke of Edinburgh saw Archie for the first time (pictured) as his proud parents and grandmother Doria Ragland looked on

As the Queen spoke viewers saw a photograph, released a few days after Archie’s birth on May 6, which captured the moment she and the Duke of Edinburgh saw Archie for the first time (pictured) as his proud parents and grandmother Doria Ragland looked on

Her Majesty said from Windsor Castle's green drawing room: 'Two hundred years on from the birth of my great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria, Prince Philip and I have been delighted to welcome our eighth great grandchild into our family'

Her Majesty said from Windsor Castle's green drawing room: 'Two hundred years on from the birth of my great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria, Prince Philip and I have been delighted to welcome our eighth great grandchild into our family'

Her Majesty said from Windsor Castle’s green drawing room: ‘Two hundred years on from the birth of my great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria, Prince Philip and I have been delighted to welcome our eighth great grandchild into our family’

Her comments follow a year which has seen young people inspired to become environmental campaigners by the example of schoolgirl activist Greta Thunberg (pictured)

Her comments follow a year which has seen young people inspired to become environmental campaigners by the example of schoolgirl activist Greta Thunberg (pictured)

Her comments follow a year which has seen young people inspired to become environmental campaigners by the example of schoolgirl activist Greta Thunberg (pictured)

From Windsor Castle’s green drawing room, Her Majesty, 93, said: ‘Two hundred years on from the birth of my great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria, Prince Philip and I have been delighted to welcome our eighth great grandchild into our family.

‘Of course, at the heart of the Christmas story lies the birth of a child: a seemingly small and insignificant step overlooked by many in Bethlehem.’ 

‘But in time, through his teaching and by his example, Jesus Christ would show the world how small steps taken in faith and in hope can overcome long-held differences and deep-seated divisions to bring harmony and understanding.’

The sweet mention comes after it was confirmed Harry and Meghan are spending the festive period in Canada.

The Queen’s Christmas message 2019: Monarch talks of D-Day, climate change and her own ‘bumpy’ year

‘As a child, I never imagined that one day a man would walk on the moon. Yet this year we marked the 50th anniversary of the famous Apollo 11 mission.

‘As those historic pictures were beamed back to Earth, millions of us sat transfixed to our television screens, as we watched Neil Armstrong taking a small step for man and a giant leap for mankind – and, indeed, for womankind. It’s a reminder for us all that giant leaps often start with small steps.

‘This year we marked another important anniversary: D-Day. On 6th June 1944, some 156,000 British, Canadian and American forces landed in northern France. It was the largest ever seabourne invasion and was delayed due to bad weather.

‘I well remember the look of concern on my father’s face. He knew the secret D-Day plans but could of course share that burden with no one.

‘For the 75th anniversary of that decisive battle, in a true spirit of reconciliation, those who had formally been sworn enemies came together in friendly commemorations either side of the Channel, putting past differences behind them.

‘Such reconciliation seldom happens overnight. It takes patience and time to rebuild trust, and progress often comes through small steps.

‘Since the end of the Second World War, many charities, groups and organisations have worked to promote peace and unity around the world, bringing together those who have been on opposing sides.

‘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.

‘The challenges many people face today may be different to those once faced by my generation, but I have been struck by how new generations have brought a similar sense of purpose to issues such as protecting our environment and our climate.

‘My family and I are also inspired by the men and women of our emergency services and armed forces; and at Christmas we remember all those on duty at home and abroad, who are helping those in need and keeping us and our families safe and secure.

‘Two hundred years on from the birth of my great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria, Prince Philip and I have been delighted to welcome our eighth great grandchild into our family.

‘Of course, at the heart of the Christmas story lies the birth of a child: a seemingly small and insignificant step overlooked by many in Bethlehem.

‘But in time, through his teaching and by his example, Jesus Christ would show the world how small steps taken in faith and in hope can overcome long-held differences and deep-seated divisions to bring harmony and understanding.

‘Many of us already try to follow in his footsteps. 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.

‘As Christmas dawned, church congregations around the world joined in singing It Came Upon The Midnight Clear. Like many timeless carols, it speaks not just of the coming of Jesus Christ into a divided world, many years ago, but also of the relevance, even today, of the angel’s message of peace and goodwill.

‘It’s a timely reminder of what positive things can be achieved when people set aside past differences and come together in the spirit of friendship and reconciliation. And, as we all look forward to the start of a new decade, it’s worth remembering that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change.

‘And so, I wish you all a very happy Christmas.’

As she spoke viewers saw a photograph, released a few days after Ms Markle gave birth to Prince Archie on May 6, which captured the moment she and the Duke of Edinburgh saw the baby for the first time as Harry and Doria Ragland looked on.    

Her Majesty has also been ‘struck’ by the ‘sense of purpose’ younger generations have shown in tackling issues like climate change.

Her comments follow a year which has seen young people inspired to become environmental campaigners by the example of schoolgirl activist Greta Thunberg.

During her annual address, the Queen highlighted how often ‘small steps, not the giant leaps’ bring about lasting change in the world – the theme of her Christmas Day broadcast.

The Queen said the Christmas message of peace and goodwill still has relevance today – a comment which follows a year of bitter debates in Parliament and the country over Brexit.

She said the message was a reminder of what can be achieved when people abandon their differences and ‘come together in the spirit of friendship and reconciliation’.

Her words are likely to be interpreted as an appeal for the healing of divisions in the country as Britain leaves the EU.

The Queen said in her message: ‘The challenges many people face today may be different to those once faced by my generation, but I have been struck by how new generations have brought a similar sense of purpose to issues such as protecting our environment and our climate.’

Swedish teenager Greta’s activism has sparked a global climate strike movement that has seen millions of youngsters across the world protest by refusing to go to classes.

She addressed a UN summit on the issue in September, telling world leaders they had failed to act.

‘You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,’ she said.

Her efforts were acknowledged by the Duke of Cambridge who said climate activists were ringing the ‘planetary alarm bell louder’.

The Christmas message, was produced by the BBC and recorded in Windsor Castle’s green drawing room after the General Election but before Philip was admitted to a private London hospital for treatment for a pre-existing but undisclosed condition.

The Duke spent four nights being treated before he was discharged on Christmas Eve morning, in time to join the royal family celebrations at Sandringham.

In her message to the country and Commonwealth the Queen mentioned the carol It Came Upon The Midnight Clear – performed at the end of the broadcast.

She added: ‘Like many timeless carols, it speaks not just of the coming of Jesus Christ into a divided world, many years ago, but also of the relevance, even today, of the angels’ message of peace and goodwill.

‘It’s a timely reminder of what positive things can be achieved when people set aside past differences and come together in the spirit of friendship and reconciliation.

‘And, as we all look forward to the start of a new decade, it’s worth remembering that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change.’

A string of milestones marked during 2019 were mentioned by the Queen, from the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings to the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.

She began her address by highlighting its theme of ‘small steps’ as she spoke about the Apollo 11 mission.

‘As those historic pictures were beamed back to Earth, millions of us sat transfixed to our television screens, as we watched Neil Armstrong taking a small step for man and a giant leap for mankind – and, indeed, for womankind,’ said the Queen.

She added: ‘It’s a reminder for us all that giant leaps often start with small steps.’

Nearby was a picture of the Queen meeting Armstrong and his Apollo 11 crewmates Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin.

Speaking about D-Day, the Queen mentioned the ‘look of concern on my father’s face’ as King George VI knew about the secret plans but could not ‘share that burden’.

Seventy-five years on from the historic landings, she said former enemies had met in friendship at commemorations marking the anniversary in Britain and on the continent.

During her annual address the Queen acknowledged the 'bumpy' path her family and the country has faced during the past 12 months, but mentioned some of the positives like the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex 's first child

During her annual address the Queen acknowledged the 'bumpy' path her family and the country has faced during the past 12 months, but mentioned some of the positives like the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex 's first child

During her annual address the Queen acknowledged the ‘bumpy’ path her family and the country has faced during the past 12 months, but mentioned some of the positives like the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex ‘s first child

Prince Charles and Camilla tweeted this photograph today, with the message: 'Wishing all our followers a very happy Christmas from Clarence House'

Prince Charles and Camilla tweeted this photograph today, with the message: 'Wishing all our followers a very happy Christmas from Clarence House'

Prince Charles and Camilla tweeted this photograph today, with the message: ‘Wishing all our followers a very happy Christmas from Clarence House’

The Queen’s nod to The Crown: Her Majesty talks of historic meeting with 1969 Apollo heroes that featured in Netflix series – with famous snap on desk

A photograph of the Queen meeting the first men on the moon 50 years ago has been placed on the table behind her for her Christmas Day message

A photograph of the Queen meeting the first men on the moon 50 years ago has been placed on the table behind her for her Christmas Day message

 A photograph of the Queen meeting the first men on the moon 50 years ago has been placed on the table behind her for her Christmas Day message

A photograph of the Queen meeting the first men on the moon 50 years ago has been placed on the table behind her for her Christmas Day message.

The picture, which was just out of a shot in a preview image released today, shows her meeting Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in October 1969.

Queen Elizabeth II with the Apollo 11 astronauts

Queen Elizabeth II with the Apollo 11 astronauts

Queen Elizabeth II with the Apollo 11 astronauts

The photo of the Queen with the Apollo 11 astronauts at Buckingham Palace could be a nod to Netflix series The Crown, which featured the scene five weeks ago. 

Their visit to London was part of a tour carried out by the men across 24 countries over 38 days after their successful mission watched by a TV audience of 600million.

After returning to earth on July 24, 1969, they spent three weeks in quarantine then left the US on a tour on September 29 – and arrived in England on October 14.

The group visited the US Embassy in London where they met cheering crowds, and then headed to Buckingham Palace for a meeting with members of the Royal Family.

They were greeted by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip and their children Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and an enthralled-looking Prince Edward.  

Olivia Colman plays The Queen in Netflix drama The Crown - pictured meeting the astronauts

Olivia Colman plays The Queen in Netflix drama The Crown - pictured meeting the astronauts

Olivia Colman plays The Queen in Netflix drama The Crown – pictured meeting the astronauts

The Queen added: ‘Such reconciliation seldom happens overnight. It takes patience and time to rebuild trust, and progress often comes through small steps.

‘Since the end of the Second World War, many charities, groups and organisations have worked to promote peace and unity around the world, bringing together those who have been on opposing sides.

‘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 broadcast footage was shown of America’s moon landings, national D-Day commemorations in Portsmouth, and world leaders meeting the Queen during the recent Nato reception at Buckingham Place, which marked the alliance’s 70th anniversary.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were featured at a French D-Day service in Bayeux, Normandy, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were shown celebrating St Patrick’s Day with the Irish Guards.

Speaking about how Jesus showed the world that ‘small steps taken in faith and in hope can overcome long-held differences’, the Queen added: ‘Many of us already try to follow in his footsteps.

‘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’s comment about experiencing a ‘bumpy’ year is thought to be her first public reference to the personal events involving her family during the past 12 months.

During 2019, the Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a dramatic car accident, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke about their struggles living in the public eye and the Duke of York gave a disastrous television interview about his friendship with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

The Queen also paid tribute to the men and women of the emergency services and the armed forces, and remembered those on duty this Christmas working to keep the nation ‘safe and secure’.

At the end of the broadcast footage was shown of the Queen, Charles, William and Prince George preparing Christmas puddings earlier this month at Buckingham Palace for the Royal British Legion’s Together at Christmas initiative.

Ahead of the message, broadcast at 3pm, the Queen was joined by Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte who were spotted with future kings Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George as they walked to church on Christmas Day.

George, six, and four-year-old Charlotte walked the short distance from Sandringham House to St Mary Magdalene Church hand in hand with their parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The Prince of Wales walked alongside them but one-year-old Prince Louis stayed at the house.

The five were captured attending the service by Karen Anvil, who took a brilliant picture of the Cambridges and Sussexes two years ago.

Others attending the main morning service included Princess Beatrice and her fiance, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.

The Queen, 93, wearing a red coat and hat, arrived at the church in a maroon Bentley with the Duchess of Cornwall. 

The Prince of Wales with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte arriving to attend the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. This picture was taken by Karen Anvil who two years ago took a famous photo of the Cambridges and Sussexes

The Prince of Wales with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte arriving to attend the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. This picture was taken by Karen Anvil who two years ago took a famous photo of the Cambridges and Sussexes

The Prince of Wales with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte arriving to attend the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. This picture was taken by Karen Anvil who two years ago took a famous photo of the Cambridges and Sussexes

The Prince of Wales walked alongside the Cambridges but one-year-old Prince Louis stayed back home at Sandringham. This pictured was taken by Ms Anvil

The Prince of Wales walked alongside the Cambridges but one-year-old Prince Louis stayed back home at Sandringham. This pictured was taken by Ms Anvil

George and his father William

George and his father William

The Prince of Wales (left, taken by Ms Anvil) walked alongside the Cambridges (right) but one-year-old Prince Louis stayed back home at Sandringham

The Cambridges outside church today

The Cambridges outside church today

The Duchess of Cambridge speaks to Charlotte

The Duchess of Cambridge speaks to Charlotte

Princess Charlotte appeared to get a dressing down from her mother Kate outside church this morning (left and right)

Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Catherine stand with Princess Anne and the Duchess of Cornwall

Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Catherine stand with Princess Anne and the Duchess of Cornwall

Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Catherine stand with Princess Anne and the Duchess of Cornwall

Kate Middleton meets the public

Kate Middleton meets the public

Charlotte accepts a doll as a gift from a member of the public

Charlotte accepts a doll as a gift from a member of the public

A woman who gave Charlotte a gift told Sky News: ‘She came over with her mum, she liked the doll. Her manners are outstanding – but she’s cheeky, she wasn’t at all scared.’ She said Prince George’s manners were also ‘perfect’

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte and Prince George leave the St Mary Magdalene's church after the Royal Family's Christmas Day service

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte and Prince George leave the St Mary Magdalene's church after the Royal Family's Christmas Day service

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte and Prince George leave the St Mary Magdalene’s church after the Royal Family’s Christmas Day service

Prince William, Catherine, Princess Charlotte and Prince George greet people as they leave the St Mary Magdalene's church

Prince William, Catherine, Princess Charlotte and Prince George greet people as they leave the St Mary Magdalene's church

Prince William, Catherine, Princess Charlotte and Prince George greet people as they leave the St Mary Magdalene’s church

The youngster holds a blown up pink flamingo as she meets the adoring public following the Christmas service today

The Cambridges stand on the road near St Mary Magdalene's church after the Royal Family's Christmas Day service

The Cambridges stand on the road near St Mary Magdalene's church after the Royal Family's Christmas Day service

The Cambridges stand on the road near St Mary Magdalene’s church after the Royal Family’s Christmas Day service

Charlotte pulls on her mother Catherine's arm as she leaves the church in Norfolk on Christmas Day. The Queen and Duches of Cornwall are in the foreground

Charlotte pulls on her mother Catherine's arm as she leaves the church in Norfolk on Christmas Day. The Queen and Duches of Cornwall are in the foreground

Charlotte pulls on her mother Catherine’s arm as she leaves the church in Norfolk on Christmas Day. The Queen and Duches of Cornwall are in the foreground

Princess Charlotte smiles as she holds her mother's hand next to Prince George following the service on Christmas Day

Princess Charlotte smiles as she holds her mother's hand next to Prince George following the service on Christmas Day

Princess Charlotte smiles as she holds her mother’s hand next to Prince George following the service on Christmas Day

Others attending the main morning service included Princess Beatrice and her fiance, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi (pictured behind Prince Edward and the Wessex family)

Others attending the main morning service included Princess Beatrice and her fiance, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi (pictured behind Prince Edward and the Wessex family)

Others attending the main morning service included Princess Beatrice and her fiance, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi (pictured behind Prince Edward and the Wessex family)

The Queen, 93, donned a fetching red hat and matching coat for the annual service at Sandringham

The Queen, 93, donned a fetching red hat and matching coat for the annual service at Sandringham

The Queen, 93, donned a fetching red hat and matching coat for the annual service at Sandringham 

The Duke of Edinburgh, 98, who was discharged from hospital on Christmas Eve, was at Sandringham but did not attend church.

He had spent four nights at the King Edward VII Hospital in London to receive treatment for a ‘pre-existing condition’.

Philip, who retired from public duties in 2017, did not attend last year’s church service either despite being in good health at the time.

The Duke of York, who has had a tumultuous end to the year after his disastrous appearance on the BBC’s Newsnight programme, walked side by side with Charles to a service at 9am but did not attend the 11am service.

Andrew’s attempt to explain his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein backfired and he was heavily criticised for showing a lack of empathy towards Epstein’s victims and remorse over his friendship with the disgraced financier.

The beleaguered Duke of York cut a solemn figure as he walked alongside Prince Charles on what is his first public outing since his controversial Newsnight interview.

The Prince of Wales and the Duke of York arriving to attend the church service

The Prince of Wales and the Duke of York arriving to attend the church service

The Prince of Wales and the Duke of York arriving to attend the church service

Wearing a fur coat and silk head scarf, Her Majesty arrived at her Norfolk estate this morning

Wearing a fur coat and silk head scarf, Her Majesty arrived at her Norfolk estate this morning

Wearing a fur coat and silk head scarf, Her Majesty arrived at her Norfolk estate this morning

The Duke was seen leaving the King Edward VII hospital in central London yesterday morning, where he spent four nights this week before heading home to Sandringham for Christmas

The Duke was seen leaving the King Edward VII hospital in central London yesterday morning, where he spent four nights this week before heading home to Sandringham for Christmas

The Duke was seen leaving the King Edward VII hospital in central London yesterday morning, where he spent four nights this week before heading home to Sandringham for Christmas

Prince Philip spent four nights in the King Edward VII's hospital in central London and left at 8.49am yesterday, heading to Sandringham for Christmas by helicopter

Prince Philip spent four nights in the King Edward VII's hospital in central London and left at 8.49am yesterday, heading to Sandringham for Christmas by helicopter

Prince Philip spent four nights in the King Edward VII’s hospital in central London and left at 8.49am yesterday, heading to Sandringham for Christmas by helicopter

In recent months the Duke of York has stepped back from royal duties and been dropped by a number of charities in the furore that followed his BBC interview and friendship with the paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

But the brothers walked side-by-side as they headed into St Mary Magdalene Church for the 9am service.

The Queen was driven to her Norfolk estate this morning without her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, who was discharged from hospital in London yesterday. 

The Earl of Wessex and his daughter Lady Louise Windsor also strolled into St Mary Magdalene Church together.

Hundreds of well-wishers have been queuing since the early hours to catch a glimpse of members of the royal family, and waved excitedly as the Queen left with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and was driven to the royal family’s traditional 11am service.

Today is the first time the younger royals have attended, with Prince George and Princess Charlotte going into church alongside their parents, William and Kate. At six and four they are now old enough to sit through the service.

Andrew’s daughter Princess Beatrice was also joined by fiance Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi for the first time at the church. 

 It really WAS a ‘bumpy year’: Buckingham Palace releases photos of the Queen at every Christmas Day speech for last decade… with her majesty looking especially stern this year amid Prince Andrew crisis

  • Windsors official Twitter account shared pictures of the Queen during her speech over the last decade 
  • This year’s Christmas speech follows Andrew stepping down after backlash over Jeffrey Epstein friendship 
  • Queen looks happiest in 2017 as she sits beside pictures of Prince George as well as Princess Charlotte
  • The 2019 speech will be delivered next to family picture of William and Kate but not Meghan and Harry

Buckingham Palace has released photos of the Queen at every Christmas Day speech for the last decade, showing Her Majesty looking particularly stern this year amid the Prince Andrew crisis.

It comes after a bumpy year for the Windsors as the Duke of York was forced to step down from royal duties following a disastrous Newsnight interview in which he said he did not regret his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Today Queen Elizabeth II will deliver her 2019 speech at 3pm as Andrew faces continued backlash due to accusations that he had sex with Virginia Roberts who was trafficked to London by Epstein. 

Prince Philip’s health has also been a concern for the palace as the 98-year-old spent four nights in hospital in the run up to Christmas before heading to Sandringham by helicopter to spend it with his loved ones. 

Today the Royal Family’s official account tweeted: ‘Merry Christmas everyone! Today marks the 68th Queen’s Christmas speech and the last of the decade. You can watch the broadcast at 3pm GMT on TV, radio and here online @RoyalFamily #ChristmasDay2019.’

As the picture of her looking especially stern sat next to a 2017 picture in which she beamed beside portraits of Prince George and Princess Charlotte, she is set to address the difficulties that have best the royals.  Addressing a turbulent 12 months, she will say ‘small steps’ can overcome difficulties and division. 

The Queen appears stern as she sits beside pictures of the Cambridges, Prince Phillip who has been in hospital, and Prince Charles who was central to ensuring that Prince Andrew step down from Royal duties during the furious backlash about his friendship with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Pictured closest to the Queen is her father, King George VI

The Queen appears stern as she sits beside pictures of the Cambridges, Prince Phillip who has been in hospital, and Prince Charles who was central to ensuring that Prince Andrew step down from Royal duties during the furious backlash about his friendship with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Pictured closest to the Queen is her father, King George VI

The Queen appears stern as she sits beside pictures of the Cambridges, Prince Phillip who has been in hospital, and Prince Charles who was central to ensuring that Prince Andrew step down from Royal duties during the furious backlash about his friendship with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Pictured closest to the Queen is her father, King George VI

She appears in stark contrast to her appearance two years ago, when she put on a brave face while speaking on the importance of home in the wake of the Grenfell fire tragedy that year as well as the Manchester Arena bombing.

Following a year of tensions between the press and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Her Majesty will sit today beside a picture of Prince William and Kate Middleton. She will not appear beside a picture of Harry and Meghan, despite doing so last year. 

Though Prince Andrew has stepped down from public duties, he was seen joining senior royals at Sandringham this morning.

He walked in solidarity with his older brother Charles today as they made their way to their annual Christmas Day service.

Pictured, left, the Queen during her 2010 Christmas speech. The monarch focused on how sport can build harmony after the summer's Commonwealth Games. Pictured, centre, the Queen during her 2011 Christmas speech, when she talked about her family being inspired by the British and Commonwealth people. This was a happy year for the Royal Family and saw the marriages of Prince William to Kate Middleton and Zara Phillips to Mike Tindall. Pictured, right, the Queen at her 2012 Christmas speech, when she used the Diamond Jubilee year to speak of her pride at the London Olympic Games

Pictured, left, the Queen during her 2010 Christmas speech. The monarch focused on how sport can build harmony after the summer's Commonwealth Games. Pictured, centre, the Queen during her 2011 Christmas speech, when she talked about her family being inspired by the British and Commonwealth people. This was a happy year for the Royal Family and saw the marriages of Prince William to Kate Middleton and Zara Phillips to Mike Tindall. Pictured, right, the Queen at her 2012 Christmas speech, when she used the Diamond Jubilee year to speak of her pride at the London Olympic Games

Pictured, left, the Queen during her 2010 Christmas speech. The monarch focused on how sport can build harmony after the summer’s Commonwealth Games. Pictured, centre, the Queen during her 2011 Christmas speech, when she talked about her family being inspired by the British and Commonwealth people. This was a happy year for the Royal Family and saw the marriages of Prince William to Kate Middleton and Zara Phillips to Mike Tindall. Pictured, right, the Queen at her 2012 Christmas speech, when she used the Diamond Jubilee year to speak of her pride at the London Olympic Games

Pictured, left, the Queen in her 2013 Christmas message, when she looked back on the birth of her grandson Prince George. Pictured, centre, the Queen during her 2014 speech, in which she marked 100 years since the start of the First World War and touched on the importance of reconciliation after conflict. Pictured, right, the Queen delivers her 2015 speech to reach out to those who had lost loved ones that year

Pictured, left, the Queen in her 2013 Christmas message, when she looked back on the birth of her grandson Prince George. Pictured, centre, the Queen during her 2014 speech, in which she marked 100 years since the start of the First World War and touched on the importance of reconciliation after conflict. Pictured, right, the Queen delivers her 2015 speech to reach out to those who had lost loved ones that year

Pictured, left, the Queen in her 2013 Christmas message, when she looked back on the birth of her grandson Prince George. Pictured, centre, the Queen during her 2014 speech, in which she marked 100 years since the start of the First World War and touched on the importance of reconciliation after conflict. Pictured, right, the Queen delivers her 2015 speech to reach out to those who had lost loved ones that year

Pictured, left, the Queen at her 2016 address, when she honoured the Olympians and Paralympians of the Commonwealth following the Olympic Games in the summer. The speech came after her 90th birthday celebrations. Pictured, centre, the Queen beams during her 2017 speech as she sits alongside pictures of Princess George and Princess Charlotte and speaks of the importance of home following the Islamist bombing on Manchester Arena and the Grenfell fire tragedy in Kensington, west London. Pictured, right, the Queen's 2018 address in which she sits alongside pictures of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Sussexes. This year she will not sit beside a photo of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Pictured, left, the Queen at her 2016 address, when she honoured the Olympians and Paralympians of the Commonwealth following the Olympic Games in the summer. The speech came after her 90th birthday celebrations. Pictured, centre, the Queen beams during her 2017 speech as she sits alongside pictures of Princess George and Princess Charlotte and speaks of the importance of home following the Islamist bombing on Manchester Arena and the Grenfell fire tragedy in Kensington, west London. Pictured, right, the Queen's 2018 address in which she sits alongside pictures of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Sussexes. This year she will not sit beside a photo of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Pictured, left, the Queen at her 2016 address, when she honoured the Olympians and Paralympians of the Commonwealth following the Olympic Games in the summer. The speech came after her 90th birthday celebrations. Pictured, centre, the Queen beams during her 2017 speech as she sits alongside pictures of Princess George and Princess Charlotte and speaks of the importance of home following the Islamist bombing on Manchester Arena and the Grenfell fire tragedy in Kensington, west London. Pictured, right, the Queen’s 2018 address in which she sits alongside pictures of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Sussexes. This year she will not sit beside a photo of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

The beleaguered Duke of York cut a solemn figure as he walked alongside Prince Charles on what is his first public outing since his controversial BBC interview.

Their mother was driven to her Norfolk estate this morning without her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, who was discharged from hospital in London yesterday. The Earl of Wessex and his daughter Lady Louise Windsor also strolled into St Mary Magdalene Church together. 

Hundreds of well-wishers have been queuing since the early hours to catch a glimpse of members of the royal family, and waved excitedly as the Queen left with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and was driven to the royal family’s traditional 11am service.

Today is the first time the younger royals have attended, with Prince George and Princess Charlotte going into church alongside their parents, William and Kate. At six and four they are now old enough to sit through the service.

Andrew’s daughter Princess Beatrice was also joined by fiance Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi for the first time at the church.  

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