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8:42am UK, Saturday December 24, 2011
The Queen’s traditional Christmas Day message focuses on the family and community this year.
The message, recorded earlier this month and before Prince Philip’s illness, follows an event-filled 12 months for the Royal household.
In the address, which is written by the monarch, the Queen says: “Of course, family does not necessarily mean blood relatives but often a description of a community, organisation or nation.
“The Commonwealth is a family of 53 nations, all with a common bond, shared beliefs, mutual values and goals.”
Royal commentator Dickie Arbiter says this year’s speech is also linked to the royal events scheduled for 2012:
“Don’t forget this is a message to the Commonwealth family – it’s been a big year and next year will be huge with Diamond Jubilee.”
This year’s broadcast features the Band of the Irish Guards playing the carol O Little Town of Bethlehem.
Children from St Joseph’s Catholic Infants’ School in Camberwell, south London are also part of the message with a scene from a nativity play.
It was recorded in the 1844 room in Buckingham Palace.
The message will be broadcast at 3pm on Christmas Day on TV and radio, as well as being available on the Royal Channel on YouTube.