Queen acknowledges ‘bumpy’ year for nation in Christmas message

It comes after a year of intense political debate over Brexit, as well as a number of personal events affecting the Royal Family.

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Queen Elizabeth II recorded her annual Christmas message from Windsor Castle in Berkshire.

The Queen will use her Christmas Day message to acknowledge that 2019 has been “quite bumpy”.

She will say the path is never “smooth” but “small steps” can heal divisions.

It comes after a year of intense political debate over Brexit, as well as a number of personal events affecting the Royal Family.

Her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, 98, is spending a fourth night in a London hospital after being admitted in relation to a “pre-existing condition”.

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Buckingham Palace said the duke had gone to the King Edward VII hospital on his doctor’s advice for “observation and treatment”.

Prince Charles told reporters on Monday: “He’s being looked after very well in hospital. At the moment that’s all we know.”

In January, the Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a car crash while driving near the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk. Prince Philip escaped uninjured, but two women required hospital treatment.

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In September, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex publicly revealed their struggles under the media spotlight during their tour of southern Africa.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their first child, Archie, in May
Last month, the Duke of York withdrew from public life after a BBC interview about his ties to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in August.

The Queen, 93, recorded her annual message, to be broadcast on BBC One at 15:00 GMT on Christmas Day, before Prince Philip was admitted to hospital.

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She refers to the life of Jesus and the importance of reconciliation, saying “small steps taken in faith and in hope can overcome long-held differences and deep-seated divisions to bring harmony and understanding”.

“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.”

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