Queen Elizabeth delivered her annual Christmas message Thursday, bemoaning a holiday “tinged with sadness” but offering a message of hope and perseverance.
Speaking in a pre-recorded video posted on Twitter, the queen heralded the efforts of frontline healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic — and urged her subjects to not lose faith.
“For Christians, Jesus is the light of the world,” she said. “But today we can’t celebrate his birth today in quite the usual way.”
“But we need life to go on,” the queen said.
“Remarkably, a year that has necessarily kept people apart has in many ways brought us closer,” she said. “Across the commonwealth my family and I have been inspired by stories of people volunteering in their communities, helping those in need.”
“In the United Kingdom and around the world people have risen magnificently to the challenges of the year, and I’m so proud and moved by this quiet, indomintable spirit.”
The Queen, 94, evoked the examples set by Jesus, Florence Nightingale, and the anonymous soldiers honored at the Tomb of Unknown Warrier — “a symbol of selfless duty and the ultimate sacrifice.”
The message comes as Britain has renewed lockdown measures amid reports of a COVID-19 “mutation” emerging in the UK.
“Of course for many this time of year will be tinged with sadness, some mourning the loss of those dear to them, and others missing friends and family members distanced for safety, when all they really want for Christmas is a simple hug or a squeeze of the hand.”
“If you are among them you are not alone,” she added. “And let me assure you of my thoughts and prayers,” she said.
It closes with the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir performing “Joy to the World.”
The video comes on one day after the British royals announced the cancellation of another holiday tradition — Christmas Mass at St. Mary Magdalene Church.
The royal family had attended Christmas morning services at the church for 32 years.