Queen Elizabeth Gives Preview of Christmas Message
LONDON (AP) _ Queen Elizabeth II, in a preview of her annual Christmas message, spoke optimistically of Eastern and Western Europe living as neighbors and an unselfish world uniting to save the planet.
The queen broke the tradition of keeping her message secret until Christmas day and delivered part of it to an audience of 6,000 at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday night.
Buckingham Palace confirmed Wednesday that sections of her speech would be included in her Christmas message to the 49-nation Commonwealth of Britain and its former colonies.
The monarch, speaking on the ″exciting″ political and social changes in recent months, said people in both Eastern and Western Europe have been able to think about themselves more as neighbors. And the key to the future was learning to ″love thy neighbor as thyself,″ she said.
The possibility that Christ’s message might at last be heeded could make the 1990s a time for peace and cooperation to preserve the planet from environmental threats, she said.
″If we can reduce dishonesty, selfishness and injustice, the ’90s might become years of peace and tranquillity, and a time to work together for the benefit of our planet as a whole,″ the queen said.
″We must be kind to it for the sake of our children and our children’s children,″ she said.
The queen was attending a Christmas fund-raising gala for the Save The Children charity, headed by her daughter, Princess Anne.
″I usually make my Christmas broadcast to the Commonwealth from Windsor or Buckingham Palace,″ she said. ″This year I thought I would use the presence of 2,000 children in the Royal Albert Hall to send this special message to the children of the Commonwealth.″
Among the children at the gala, where a cast of 700 told the story of the Bible from creation to the birth of Christ, were two of the queen’s grandsons: Peter Philips, 12, who is Anne’s son, and Prince William, 7, son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.