QUEEN Elizabeth’s traditional Christmas broadcast was screened this afternoon after the Queen and members of the royal family attended church at Sandringham.
Her Majesty used her speech to call for reconciliation referring to the Scottish referendum and Northern Ireland.
The Queen recalled the historical moment in 1914 when First World War forces put their differences aside and met on no-man’s land during the Christmas truce and also spoke of her feelings upon visiting the Tower of London’s poppy installation last October marking the 100th anniversary of the war.
“The ceramic poppies at the Tower of London drew millions and the only possible reaction to walking among them was silence.
“For every poppy a life; and a reminder of the grief of loved ones left behind,” she said.
“In Scotland after the referendum many felt great disappointment, while others felt great relief; and bridging these differences will take time,” the Queen said.
In contrast, her Majesty explained, Northern Ireland has already started the journey to heal divisions between Protestant and Catholic communities.
Queen Elizabeth said: “The benefits of reconciliation were clear to see when I visited Belfast in June. While my tour of the set of Game Of Thrones may have gained most attention, my visit to the Crumlin Road Gaol will remain vividly in my mind.
“What was once a prison during the Troubles is now a place of hope and fresh purpose; a reminder of what is possible when people reach out to one another.”
Her Majesty expressed how touched she had been this year by the selflessness of aid workers and medical volunteers helping victims of conflict and diseases like Ebola abroad.
Wearing a purple dress by Angela Kelly and a brooch of diamond and pearl she inherited from her grandmother, the Queen recorded her message seated next to a table bearing photos of her grandparents King George V and Queen Mary.
An embossed box similar to those sent to front-line soldiers in 1914 was also visible on the table.