Queen reflects on year of Prince George's birth in Christmas message

In her traditional message to the nation, the Queen also made an observation about the future for new parents

The Queen has spoken about her great-grandson Prince George in her Christmas broadcast, and said the birth of a baby allows people to think about the future with renewed “happiness and hope”.

In her traditional message to the nation, the Queen also made an observation about the future for new parents - "life will never be quite the same again".

After George's christening in October, the Royal Family gathered for traditional photos to mark an event the head of state said was "a happy occasion".

The Queen's annual broadcast also featured behind-the-scenes footage taken at Clarence House as the royals posed for the christening pictures under the direction of celebrity portrait photographer Jason Bell.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's son George was born on July 22 at the private Lindo Wing of St Mary's hospital in central London.

When William and Kate left hospital to greet the world's media waiting outside, they could not contain their happiness as they chatted about their baby.

The Queen saw him a few days later but it is thought this is the first time she has publicly talked at length about the infant who will one day be king.

Delivering her message, which was recorded earlier this month at Buckingham Palace, the Queen said: "Here at home my own family is a little larger this Christmas.

"As so many of you will know, the arrival of a baby gives everyone the chance to contemplate the future with renewed happiness and hope.

"For the new parents, life will never be quite the same again."

These words were accompanied by footage of William bouncing George up and down in his arms, with Kate by his side, as they chatted to other family members outside the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, ahead of their son's christening.

Later that day a historic picture of four generations of the Royal Family - the Queen, Prince of Wales, William and George - was taken to mark the baby's christening.

As the behind-the-scenes footage was shown, a voice, thought to be Mr Bell, could be heard saying "One, two, three" as a group picture was taken of the baby prince, his doting parents, the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Charles and Camilla and Prince Harry.

The Queen said in her broadcast: "As with all who are christened, George was baptised into a joyful faith of Christian duty and service. After the christening, we gathered for the traditional photograph.

"It was a happy occasion, bringing together four generations."

The main theme of the Queen's seasonal message to the nation was reflection and she looked back over the past 12 months to the 60th anniversary of her coronation, celebrated with a national service in June.

She also looked forward to the Commonwealth Games being staged in Glasgow next year.

Her broadcast began with the Queen telling her audience how a man she once knew gained a clearer insight into the world after spending a year in a plaster cast recovering from a back operation.

She said: "He read a lot, and thought a lot, and felt miserable. Later, he realised this time of forced retreat from the world had helped him to understand the world more clearly.

"We all need to get the balance right between action and reflection. With so many distractions, it is easy to forget to pause and take stock."

The Queen's traditional message was produced this year by the BBC and recorded in Buckingham Palace's blue drawing room.

The room featured a large Christmas tree decorated with coloured baubles and next to the Queen, who delivered her message seated, was a table that featured pictures of her immediate family.

The historic picture showing four generations of the Royal Family was flanked on one side by a black and white image of her father George VI, and on the other by a similar photograph of her mother, the Queen Mother.

Angela Kelly designed the Queen's gown, a single crepe wool primrose dress which she wore to William and Kate's wedding in April 2011. On her left shoulder was a diamond, ruby and sapphire brooch, a present from her parents to celebrate the birth of Charles in 1948, which she wore at George's christening.

Those who are not with their families this Christmas were in the Queen's thoughts, from servicemen and women on operations abroad to emergency service workers.

Speaking about members of the armed forces serving overseas, the Queen said: "We are forever grateful to all those who put themselves at risk to keep us safe."

Footage was shown of troops in Afghanistan and the Queen and Philip visiting the RNLI lifeboat station at St Ives, Cornwall, in May.

The Queen also cast her mind back to the moment she was crowned on June 2 1953 at Westminster Abbey, and in the same place of worship the nation gathered this summer to celebrate the historic event's 60th anniversary.

She said: "I myself had cause to reflect this year, at Westminster Abbey, on my own pledge of service made in that great church on Coronation Day 60 years earlier.

"The anniversary reminded me of the remarkable changes that have occurred since the coronation, many of them for the better; and of the things that have remained constant, such as the importance of family, friendship and good neighbourliness."

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby gave the address during the service commemorating the coronation, and there was footage of him saying: "Today we celebrate 60 years since that moment, 60 years of commitment."

There was colour footage from the coronation showing the Queen in all her regalia processing through the Abbey in 1953 followed by scenes of cheering crowds in the streets outside.

Looking forward to the Commonwealth Games, the Queen said: "The baton relay left London in October and is now the other side of the world, on its way across 70 nations and territories before arriving in Scotland next summer."

Images were shown of Olympic gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy holding the baton, then footage of it making its way around the globe.

The Queen said: "Its journey is a reminder that the Commonwealth can offer us a fresh view of life.

"My son Charles summed this up at the recent meeting in Sri Lanka. He spoke of the Commonwealth's 'family ties' that are a source of encouragement to many.

"Like any family, there can be differences of opinion. But however strongly they're expressed, they are held within the common bond of friendship and shared experiences."

Images were shown of Charles and Camilla arriving for the opening of the Commonwealth heads of government meeting staged in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo last month.

The heir to the throne opened the summit as the Queen decided not to fly to Sri Lanka following a review by Buckingham Palace of her long-haul flights.

The broadcast ended with a military band playing the carol The First Noel in Buckingham Palace's quadrangle.

Featured were members of the Coldstream Guards and Irish Guards conducted by Lieutenant Colonel Wayne Hopla.

PA

 

Arts & Entertainment
Shaun Evans as Endeavour interviews a prisoner as he tries to get to the bottom of a police cover up
tvReview: Second series comes to close with startling tale of police corruption and child abuse
Arts & Entertainment
A stranger calls: Martin Freeman in ‘Fargo’
Review: New 10-part series brims with characters and stories

Arts & Entertainment
Schwarzenegger winning Mr. Universe 1969
arts + entsCan you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
Sport
Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez celebrate during Liverpool's game with Norwich
football Another hurdle is out of the way for Brendan Rodgers' side
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
The star of the sitcom ‘Miranda’ is hugely popular with mainstream audiences
TVMiranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
News
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth-II by David Bailey which has been released to mark her 88th birthday
peoplePortrait released to mark monarch's 88th birthday
Life & Style
The writer, Gerda Saunders, with her mother, who also suffered with dementia before her death
healthGerda Saunders on the most formidable effect of her dementia
Sport
Manchester United manager David Moyes looks on during his side's defeat to Everton
footballBaines and Mirallas score against United as Everton keep alive hopes of a top-four finish
Sport
Tour de France 2014Sir Rodney Walker on organising the UK stages of this year’s race
Arts & Entertainment
Jessica Brown Findlay as Mary Yellan in ‘Jamaica Inn’
TVJessica Brown Findlay on playing the spirited heroine of Jamaica Inn
News
YouTube clocks up more than a billion users a month
mediaEuropean rival Dailymotion certainly thinks so
Arts & Entertainment
The original design with Charles' face clearly visible, which is on display around the capital
arts + ents The ad shows Prince Charles attired for his coronation in a crown and fur mantle with his mouth covered by a criss-cross of white duct tape
Arts & Entertainment
‘Self-Portrait Worshipping Christ’ (c943-57) by St Dunstan
books How British artists perfected the art of the self-portrait
Sport
Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring in Liverpool's 3-2 win over Norwich
Football Vine shows Suarez writhing in pain before launching counter attack
News
People White House officials refuse to make comment on 275,000 signatures that want Justin Bieber's US visa revoked
News
Sir Cliff Richard is to release his hundredth album at age 72
PEOPLE
Sport
Lukas Podolski celebrates one of his two goals in Arsenal's win over Hull
football
Arts & Entertainment
Quentin Tarantino, director
film
News
The speeding train nearly hit this US politican during a lecture on rail safety
news As the saying goes, you have to practice what you preach
Sport
Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (front) drives ahead of Red Bull Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia during the Chinese F1 Grand Prix at the Shanghai International circuit
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Billie Jean King, who won the women’s Wimbledon title in 1967, when the first colour pictures were broadcast
tv
News
Snow has no plans to step back or reduce his workload
mediaIt's 25 years since Jon Snow first presented Channel 4 News, and his drive shows no sign of diminishing
Life & Style
food + drinkWhat’s not to like?
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Geography Teacher

£130 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Secondary Geography Teacher Lo...

Do you want to work in Education?

£55 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Are you a dynamic and energeti...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: SEN TAs, LSAs and Support Workers needed...

Private Client Senior Manager - Sheffield

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: The Sheffield office of this...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit