Wednesday 13 December 2017

Queen enters the 3D age to say thanks for a great year

Dean Gray

QUEEN Elizabeth has delivered her Christmas message for the first time in 3D.

In the annual, pre-recorded broadcast, she paid tribute to Britain's armed forces and expressed gratitude for the outpouring of enthusiasm for her diamond-jubilee celebrations.

The queen said she had been struck by the "strength of fellowship and friendship" shown by well-wishers to mark her 60 years on the throne.

"It was humbling that so many chose to mark the anniversary of a duty which passed to me 60 years ago," she said. "People of all ages took the trouble to take part in various ways and in many nations."

She also reflected on Britain's hosting of the Olympics, praising the "skill, dedication, training and teamwork of our athletes" and singling out the volunteers who devoted themselves "to keeping others safe, supported and comforted".

The message aired shortly after the queen had attended a church service at St Mary Magdelene Church on her Sandringham estate in Norfolk, accompanied by grand-daughters Beatrice and Eugenie. Her husband, Prince Philip, walked to the church with other members of the royal family.

Prince William is spending the holiday with his pregnant wife Kate and his in-laws in the southern England village of Bucklebury. Prince Harry is serving with British troops in Afghanistan.

The queen has made a pre-recorded Christmas broadcast on radio since 1952 and on television since 1957. She writes the speeches herself and the broadcasts mark the rare occasion on which the queen voices her own opinion without government consultation.


Her switch to 3D was not the only technological leap for prominent British figures this Christmas. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York chose to tweet their sermons for the first time, in order to bring Christmas to a new digital audience.

In his speech, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said he had been inspired by meeting victims of suffering over the past decade while leading the world's 80-million-strong Anglican Communion.

Delivering his final Christmas Day sermon from Canterbury Cathedral, Dr Williams also acknowledged that a vote against allowing women to become bishops had damaged the credibility of the church.

Still, he said, it was "startling" to see after the vote how many people had "turned out to have a sort of investment in the church, a desire to see the church looking credible and a real sense of loss when – as they saw it – the church failed to sort its business out".

Irish Independent

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