[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 25 December 2005, 22:39 GMT
Queen highlights year's tragedies
The Queen has praised the "quite remarkable" humanitarian responses to natural disasters and terrorist acts in 2005 in her Christmas Day message.

She recalled events from the Asian tsunami to Hurricane Katrina and the 7 July London bombings and highlighted the efforts by people of all faiths.

"This world is not always an easy or a safe place to live in, but it is the only place we have," she said.

The annual speech was pre-recorded in the Chapel at Buckingham Palace.

The broadcast to the UK and Commonwealth is the Queen's one opportunity each year to express her thoughts rather than those of the government.

Among the footage accompanying the speech were pictures of the national memorial service for those who died in the London blasts and aid workers in Pakistan after the October earthquake.

But unlike some previous years, there was no mention of any member of the Royal Family.

'Dreadful events'

The first natural disaster The Queen focused on was the Indian Ocean tsunami that occurred on 26 December 2004 - within hours of her last broadcast.

She also reflected on the hurricanes which hit the Caribbean and the city of New Orleans and the earthquake in Pakistan and India.

This Christmas my thoughts are especially with those everywhere who are grieving the loss of loved ones during what for so many has been such a terrible year

"This series of dreadful events has brought loss and suffering to so many people and their families and friends not only in the countries directly affected, but here in Britain and throughout the Commonwealth.

"As if these disasters were not bad enough, I have sometimes thought that humanity seemed to have turned on itself - with wars, civil disturbances and acts of brutal terrorism."

Many people's lives were transformed by the London bombings in July, the Queen said.

Working together

"This Christmas my thoughts are especially with those everywhere who are grieving the loss of loved ones during what for so many has been such a terrible year," she said.

The Queen added: "These natural and human tragedies provided the headline news; they also provoked a quite remarkable humanitarian response.

"It has been clear that in the course of this year relief workers and financial support have come from members of every faith and from every corner of the world."

The Duchhess of Cornwall and Prince Charles at St Mary Magdalene's church on the Sandringham Estate
The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles celebrated Christmas at Sandrigham

She referred to the events to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, saying the "need for selflessness and generosity in the face of hardship is nothing new".

The last year has reminded us that the world is not always an "easy or a safe place to live in", said The Queen.

"I believe also that it has shown us all how our faith - whatever our religion - can inspire us to work together in friendship and peace for the sake of our own and future generations."


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific