- Steve Parsons/ Getty Images
- Queen Elizabeth II’s annual Christmas Broadcast was televised on Wednesday.
- The Queen’s broadcast featured a brief nod to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and baby Archie, despite their photo not being included on the Queen’s desk alongside other royal family portraits.
- The monarch reflected on the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the 50th anniversary of the first man on the moon, referring to “small steps” that can have a positive impact on the world.
- “As we all look forward to the start of a new decade, it’s worth remembering that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change,” the Queen said in her broadcast.
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Queen Elizabeth’s annual Christmas Broadcast was televised on Wednesday.
In this year’s address, the 93-year-old monarch reflected on anniversaries of historic world events and achievements, as well as a year that has been “quite bumpy” for the United Kingdom, the royal family, and the world.
The royal Christmas Broadcast started in 1932, when King George V gave the first address. In 1952, Queen Elizabeth gave her first Christmas address from her Sandringham residence, where the royal family traditionally spends the holiday.
- Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images
In this year’s message, the Queen opened by reflecting on anniversaries of historic events, such as the Apollo 11 mission and D-Day
“As a child, I never imagined that one day a man would walk on the moon,” Queen Elizabeth said in her Christmas Broadcast. “Yet this year we marked the 50th anniversary of the famous Apollo 11 mission. As those historic pictures were beamed back to earth, millions of us sat transfixed to our television screens, as we watched Neil Armstrong taking a small step for man and a giant leap for mankind and, indeed, for womankind.”
“It’s a reminder for us all that giant leaps often start with small steps,” she said.
In her speech, the Queen often referred to the idea of “small steps” as the only means to work toward progress.
She continued, recognizing the 75th anniversary of D-Day and recalling King George’s emotions leading up to the invasion.
“I well remember the look of concern on my father’s face. He knew the secret D-Day plans but could of course share that burden with no one,” she said.
The Queen pointed to D-Day as an example of reconciliation and of enemies who had put their differences behind them.
“Such reconciliation seldom happens overnight. It takes patience and time to rebuild trust, and progress often comes through small steps,” she said.
The Queen shared family milestones, such as the birth of her eighth great-grandchild, Archie, in 2019
The monarch began the next section of her speech with a message of thanks.
“My family and I are also inspired by the men and women of our emergency services and Armed Forces, and at Christmas, we remember all those on duty at home and abroad, who are helping those in need and keeping us and our families safe and secure,” she said.
She continued with a nod to her newest great-grandson, Archie, who was born to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 6 this year.
“Two hundred years on from the birth of my great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria, Prince Philip and I have been delighted to welcome our eighth great-grandchild into our family,” she said, while a photo showing the Queen and Prince Philip with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and baby Archie was displayed on-screen.
- DOMINIC LIPINSKI/AFP via Getty Images
Prior to the Queen’s broadcast being televised, there was speculation of whether or not the Sussexes would be included in the annual message, since the family’s photo was not displayed on the Queen’s table alongside the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s portrait.
The Queen’s address continued, as she tied her message to the story of Christmas.
“Of course, at the heart of the Christmas story lies the birth of a child: a seemingly small and insignificant step overlooked by many in Bethlehem. But in time, through his teaching and by his example, Jesus Christ would show the world how small steps taken in faith and in hope can overcome long-held differences and deep-seated divisions to bring harmony and understanding. Many of us already try to follow in his footsteps,” she said.
“The path, of course, is not always smooth, and may at times this year have felt quite bumpy, but small steps can make a world of difference.”
The Queen’s broadcast ended with a sentiment to put differences aside and reconcile in the new year ahead.
“It’s a timely reminder of what positive things can be achieved when people set aside past differences and come together in the spirit of friendship and reconciliation,” she said. “And, as we all look forward to the start of a new decade, it’s worth remembering that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change.”
“And so, I wish you all a very happy Christmas.”
Representatives for Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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- Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are spending ‘private family time’ in Canada with baby Archie for the holidays
- Prince Charles looked like he was falling asleep during the Queen’s speech, and the video is pretty awkward
- Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have released their first Christmas card with baby Archie, and it’s their most candid family photo yet