Page last updated at 01:23 GMT, Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Queen's speech addresses downturn


Her Majesty delivered her message to the nation from Buckingham Palace's music room

The Queen's Christmas Day speech will voice her concern over the economic downturn and the turmoil it may bring.

She will say that although Christmas is a time for celebration, "this year it is a more sombre occasion for many".

A month after the attacks in Mumbai and with British troops engaged overseas, the speech will also lament "violence in distant lands".

The speech is a chance for the Queen to express her own thoughts on issues, rather than those of her ministers.

She will say: "Some of those things which could once have been taken for granted suddenly seem less certain and, naturally, give rise to feelings of insecurity."

The Queen will go on to say: "People are touched by events which have their roots far across the world.

"Whether it is the global economy or violence in a distant land, the effects can be keenly felt at home."

I am certainly no Royalist, but in a world of increasing insecurity, she is one constant that I admire and respect.
Anthony, Wales

This year's message will also contain footage of Prince Harry presenting awards recently to 10 "children of courage" - young people who have faced adversity or shown great presence of mind or selflessness in their lives.

The broadcast, in which the Queen speaks about the recent 60th birthday of the Prince of Wales, will also contain private footage of Charles as a small child.

The Queen traditionally delivers her address from Buckingham Palace's Music Room.

She stands in front of a grand piano that displays family photographs, with a large Christmas tree in the background.

The Queen's Christmas message will be broadcast, as usual, at 1500 GMT.

Produced by the BBC, it will also be available on the Royal Channel on the YouTube website at the same time, and is also shown in Commonwealth countries.

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