Friday, 14 December 2018

Queen reflects on year’s tragedies, pays tribute to terror victims

In this photo released on Monday, Dec. 25, 2017, Britain's Queen Elizabeth sits at a desk in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace, after recording her Christmas Day broadcast to the Commonwealth, in London. (Pool Photo via AP)

LONDON: Queen Elizabeth paid tribute to London and Manchester in her annual Christmas message for how they handled terror attacks this year.

She recalled the year’s terror attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire, which had claimed the lives of 71 people, and devastating tropical hurricanes.

“This Christmas, I think of London and Manchester, whose powerful identities have shone through over the past 12 months in the face of appalling attacks,” she said.

The Manchester attack had killed 23 people at a pop concert in May, while in June a van had struck a number of pedestrians on London Bridge, killing eight.

“In Manchester, those targeted included children who had gone to see their favourite singer. A few days after the bombing, I had the privilege of meeting some of the young survivors and their parents…the patients I met were an example to us all, showing extraordinary bravery and resilience,” she said.

“Reflecting on these events makes me grateful for the blessings for home and family, an in particular for 70 years of marriage,” the Queen said.

It wasn’t all in such a heavy tone, though.

“I don’t know that anyone had invented the term ‘platinum’ for a 70th wedding anniversary when I was born. You weren’t expected to be around that long,” she joked.

She also said she looks forward to “welcoming new members” into her family next year, following Prince Harry’s engagement with Meghan Markle. A picture of the two featured in a wide-shot of the Queen sitting in Room 1844 in Buckingham Palace.

The Queen wished everyone a peaceful and happy Christmas.

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