Queen Elizabeth II is to acknowledge a “bumpy” year in a prerecorded Christmas Day broadcast.
The 93 year-old monarch will be addressing the need for reconciliation after a year of political turmoil and polarization due to the election and Brexit talks.
“The path, of course, is not always smooth, and may at times this year have felt quite bumpy, but small steps can make a world of difference,” the queen said, speaking about the need for reconciliation and forgiveness.
The message is scheduled to broadcast in Britain and Commonwealth nations on Christmas Day.
The British Broadcast Corporation (BBC) produced the broadcast, which was recorded in the green drawing room of Windsor Castle after the general election.
The message was recorded before the queen’s husband, Prince Philip, was hospitalized in London due to a pre-existing condition. He was discharged on Christmas Eve.
When asked about Prince Philip’s health, his son, Prince Charles, reported that Philip was doing well but that old age had taken a toll on him.
“He’s not too bad. When you get to 98, things don’t work so well,” said Charles.
Royal family troubles in 2019
It was not clear whether the “bumpy” time refers to political debate over Brexit or to personal events affecting the royal family.
It wasn’t just Phillip’s worsening health that tested the royal family in 2019. Philip’s second son, Prince Andrew, became embroiled in a scandal involving sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Andrew had defended his friendship with Epstein and denied having any sexual relations with any of Epstein’s victims during a BBC interview that was widely considered disastrous. As a result, Andrew was forced to step down from public duties in November.
One of Andrew’s accusers, Virginia Giuffre, came forward alleging that she had sex with the prince when she was 17 years old.
In addition, reports that the Queen’s grandsons, Prince William and Prince Harry, were not on good terms were confirmed by Prince Harry, who remarked simply that he and his brother were on “different paths.”
The rift between the two is said to have begun in October 2017 with Harry accusing William of not doing enough to welcome his new wife, Meghan Markle, into the royal family. The former television actress remarked in October that she was struggling under media scrutiny after marrying the prince.
Meghan had previously said that she had been warned by her British friends not to marry Harry because of the tabloid scrutiny that would inevitably ensue.