LONDON (Reuters) – Queen Elizabeth will stress the value of harmony and reconciliation in her Christmas message this year, Buckingham Palace said on Tuesday, after a “quite bumpy” year for her own family and for Britain as it struggled with Brexit.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth poses, after recording her annual Christmas Day message in Windsor Castle, in Berkshire, Britain, in this undated pool picture released on December 24, 2019. Steve Parsons/Pool via REUTERS
The palace released two short extracts from the 93-year-old monarch’s televised Christmas Day message, including one on the life of Jesus and the importance of reconciliation.
There was no indication of whether the queen will mention more painful aspects of 2019 for the royal family, particularly the furore over her son Prince Andrew’s links to U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Andrew has said he regretted his “ill-judged” association with Epstein but never saw anything suspicious during the time he spent with the financier who committed suicide in jail in August after being arrested and charged with trafficking dozens of underage girls as young as 14. Epstein denied the charges.
Andrew has also denied allegations by a woman who said she was trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex with his friends, including the prince, when she was 17.
Along with her 98-year-old husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, being involved in a car crash in January and spending the run-up to Christmas in hospital for checks, and her grandsons Princes William and Harry publicly falling out, it has been what many commentators have called another “an