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Queen’s Christmas message: time to reflect

December 25, 2013

LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II will focus on reflection in her annual Christmas broadcast Wednesday, saying it is important to “pause and take stock” of big events amid life’s distractions.

In the prerecorded broadcast, Elizabeth will stress the need to “get the balance right between action and reflection.”

“With so many distractions, it is easy to forget to pause and take stock,” she will say in the message, which was recorded earlier this month in the blue drawing room at Buckingham Palace.

Seated at a table decorated with pictures of her immediate family, the 87-year-old monarch will touch on prominent events over the past year — from the service that marked the 60th anniversary of her coronation to the birth of Prince George, son of Prince William and his wife, Kate.

The birth of a baby “gives everyone the chance to contemplate the future with renewed happiness and hope,” she will say.

The queen’s message — latest in a royal tradition that began with a radio address by King George V in 1932 — also will contemplate the role of the Commonwealth and look ahead to the Commonwealth Games being staged in Glasgow next year.

It will air at 1500 GMT (10 a.m. EST), after she and members of the royal family attend a traditional church service on her sprawling Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

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

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