Page last updated at 07:44 GMT, Thursday, 24 December 2009

Queen's broadcast praises forces and makes climate plea

The Queen made her first Christmas broadcast in 1952

The Queen is expected to pay tribute to Britain's armed forces in this year's Christmas Day broadcast.

She will also urge young people of the Commonwealth to come together to discuss the environment.

Her message comes after the toll of UK servicemen killed in Afghanistan this year passed 100, and the world met at Copenhagen to discuss climate change.

It is one occasion when the Queen can voice her own views, says BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell.

'No more valuable role'

The annual speech usually has a strong religious framework, reflects current issues and often draws on her own experiences and concerns.

The armed forces and the Commonwealth are known to be two areas of close interest for the 83-year-old monarch.

It is important to keep discussing issues that concern us all - there can be no more valuable role for our family of nations
The Queen

And the environment is an issue that has been high on the Commonwealth's agenda.

At a gathering of leaders from the institution's member states last month, the Queen urged them to take a lead in the international response to the challenge of climate change.

She will say: "It is important to keep discussing issues that concern us all - there can be no more valuable role for our family of nations."

The Queen's grandfather, King George V, delivered the first royal Christmas broadcast live on the radio from Sandringham, Norfolk, in 1932.

She made her first Christmas broadcast in 1952 and the annual message was first shown on TV in 1957.

The message is broadcast at 1500 GMT on Christmas Day and this year's speech will also be made available from the same time on the video-sharing website YouTube.

The Queen's speech will be broadcast on BBC1 at 1500 GMT on Christmas Day.

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SEE ALSO
Queen first broadcast in Windsor
21 Dec 09 |  History

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South Africa MercuryQueen backs Commonwealth in Xmas message - 12 hrs ago
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Sky News Queen Praises The Military In Xmas Message - 14 hrs ago
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France24 Queen urges Commonwealth to lead on climate change - 53 hrs ago
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