Steve Parsons / PA Media Image caption Queen Elizabeth II recorded her annual Christmas message from Windsor Castle in Berkshire
After a year of intense political debate over Brexit, as well as a number of personal events affecting the Royal Family, the Queen will say: “Small steps taken in faith and in hope can overcome long-held differences and deep-seated divisions to bring harmony and understanding”.
In January, the Duke of Edinburgh wasinvolved in a car crashwhile driving near Sandringham. He escaped uninjured, but two women required hospital treatment.
In September, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex publiclyrevealed their strugglesunder the media spotlight during their tour of southern Africa.
Last month, the Duke of Yorkwithdrew from public lifeafter a BBC interview about his ties to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in August.
Analysis: A coded message?
It has been a year which, at times, may have felt “quite bumpy”, so the Queen will say in her Christmas broadcast.
It is a choice of words which will inevitably prompt speculation about what it is that she’s referring to.
She does not offer any clarification herself, though the remark is made in the context of overcoming what she calls “long-held differences” and how “small steps taken in faith and in Hope can overcome deep-seated divisions “.
The clear interpretation is that this is the Queen’s – as ever – coded message to the country to try to move on from from the divisions of the Brexit debate, but the reference to a “bumpy” year may also be taken to refer to events within her own family after a year which has seen the Duke of Edinburgh’s car accident, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex complaining about the difficulties of being in the public eye and the controversies around Prince Andrew.
Last Christmas, Prince Philip missed the royals’ traditional Christmas Day trip to church but was said to be in good health.
In February, it was announced the duke had given up his driving license. It came after he was involved in a collision with another vehicle near the Sandringham Estate.
The treatment he has received for various health conditions over the years include being treated for a blocked coronary artery in in
The following year, the prince suffered a bladder infection and was forced to miss the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert.
He was also taken to hospital for an abdomen operation in and in 46912691, underwent surgery on his right hand.
Last year he had a hip replacement at the same central London hospital that he is now attending.