LONDON: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II will use her Christmas address Friday to highlight the triumph of good over evil after a string of attacks in 2015 including in Paris.
The queen will quote from the Bible’s Gospel of St John while describing the Christmas period as “a time to remember all that we have to be thankful for,” according to extracts released in advance by Buckingham Palace.
“It is true that the world has had to confront moments of darkness this year, but the Gospel of John contains a verse of great hope, often read at Christmas carol services: ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it,’” she will say.
A total of 130 people were killed in the November 13 attacks in the French capital, while this year has also seen a string of mass casualty attacks in countries including Nigeria, Syria and Iraq.
The 89-year-old monarch’s message will also pay tribute to those who fought during World War II following commemorations marking 70 years since the end of the conflict this year.
For millions of British families, gathering around the television after Christmas lunch to watch the queen’s speech, which is shown at 1500 GMT, is as much of a festive tradition as turkey, crackers and presents.
The queen, who writes the address herself, pre-recorded this year’s message at Buckingham Palace in London.
She is shown at a desk adorned with three photographs, one of which shows her grandson Prince William, wife Kate and their two children, George and Charlotte, at seven-month-old girl’s christening in July.
The other two pictures show Prince Charles and wife Camilla on their wedding day in 2005, and the queen herself and husband Prince Philip leaning on walking sticks and laughing.
The British royal family’s first Christmas message was delivered in 1932 by the queen’s grandfather, king George V, and was written by author Rudyard Kipling.
The queen delivered her first Christmas message in 1952 and has done so every year since apart from in 1969, when a repeat of a documentary about the royal family was shown instead.