Queen Elizabeth Thanks Medical Staff in Christmas Address

Queen Elizabeth II used her annual Christmas message to thank medical staff on the front lines of the battle against Covid-19, and said the pandemic has helped bring communities together despite the need for social distancing.

“Remarkably, a year that has necessarily kept people apart has, in many ways, brought us closer,” said the British monarch, who has delivered the broadcast every year except one since assuming the throne in 1952.

“In the United Kingdom and around the world, people have risen magnificently to the challenges of the year, and I am so proud and moved by this quiet, indomitable spirit,” she added, saying she has been “inspired by stories of people volunteering in their communities, helping those in need.”

Speaking from the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle, the Queen acknowledged that the festive period is “tinged with sadness” this year.

“Some mourning the loss of those dear to them, and others missing friends and family members distanced for safety, when all they’d really want for Christmas is a simple hug or a squeeze of the hand,” she said. “If you are among them, you are not alone, and let me assure you of my thoughts and prayers.”

Filming of the Queen’s 2020 message observed distance protocols, according to her communications secretary. The only people allowed in the room were the two cameramen and one other member of the crew and “suitable PPE” was worn.

The first Christmas broadcast was delivered by King George V in 1932 and it has become an important part of the festive season for many in Britain and across the Commonwealth.

The Queen did not make a Christmas broadcast in 1969 because a repeat of the documentary “Royal Family” was already scheduled for the holiday period.

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