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.
“We think of our homes as places of warmth, familiarity and love… there is a timeless simplicity to the pull of home.”
Watch Her Majesty The Queen’s Christmas broadcast 2017. Merry Christmas to all. #ChristmasDay2017 pic.twitter.com/s9HAvPvrKO
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) December 25, 2017
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.