The Queen used her speech to look back on a hard year

The Queen used her speech to look back on a hard year

The Queen used her speech to look back on a hard year

Footage was shown of the Queen meeting teenage survivors of the suicide bombing which killed 22 people when an attacker detonated an explosive device as fans left a Manchester Arena concert by U.S. singer Ariana Grande.

The UK has been hit by a number of terror attacks over the past year with three of those targeting London.

Rounding out a message about the home and family, the monarch continued her recent tradition of speaking openly about her Christian faith.

The theme of the 2017 speech centres on the home - and how people gravitate to their family home or home city at this time of year.

The Queen also paid a romantic tribute to her husband of 70 years, Prince Philip, who this year at the age of 96 made a decision to slow down in his public duties.

Excerpts released by Buckingham Palace indicate Elizabeth hails the "powerful identities" of Manchester and London.

"I don't know that anyone had invented the term "platinum" for a 70th wedding anniversary when I was born".

"We think of our homes of places of warmth, familiarity and love, of shared stories and memories which is perhaps why at this time of year so many return to where they grew up", she said.

This year's annual address has been produced by Sky News and was recorded in the palace's 1844 room which is decorated with a large tree and features family photos. This is the first Christmas the family will be joined by Prince Harry's fiancee, American actress Meghan Markle.

There was only the gentlest of references to perhaps the year's most eagerly anticipated royal event, the engagement of her grandson Prince Harry to USA actress Meghan Markle.

The 91-year-old praised the emergency service workers who risked their lives to save others during the Manchester attack, where 22 were killed and some 120 others injured.

The Duchess of Cambridge did not spend Christmas at Sandringham until she and William were man and wife in 2011.

The Queen and Prince Philip were seen together in public heading to church on her Sandringham estate today along with senior members of the Royal Family, including their children and grandchildren.

Meghan, who will take British citizenship and get baptised by the Church of England before the wedding, will also attend the Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, a spokesperson has confirmed.

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