Queen's speech dwells on loss and reflects golden days

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The Queen spoke movingly about the loss of her mother and sister in her Christmas address yesterday after a year in which she said her personal grief had been tempered by the joy of the golden jubilee celebrations.

The Queen spoke movingly about the loss of her mother and sister in her Christmas address yesterday after a year in which she said her personal grief had been tempered by the joy of the golden jubilee celebrations.

But she made no mention of her historic intervention during the trial of the royal butler Paul Burrell, leading to his acquittal and to his proclamation later that the "Queen came through for me".

Nor did she refer to the decision by the Earl and Countess of Wessex to retire from business life after a series of public public relations gaffes. All this may not have added up to the annus horribilis of 1992 but, the Queen said, it was "as full a year as I can remember".

In her speech, which for the first time was trailed on television, the Queen seemed to be making a special effort to identify with the experiences of her subjects.

"Many of you will know only too well from your own experience the grief that follows the death of a much loved mother or sister. Mine were very much part of my life and always gave me their support and encouragement," she told television and radio audiences around the world.

"But my own sadness was tempered by the generous tributes that so many of you paid to the service they gave to this country and the wider Commonwealth. At such a difficult time, this gave me great comfort and inspiration as I faced up both to my own personal loss and to the busy jubilee summer ahead."

In an unspoken memorial to the Queen Mother, the Queen appeared wearing the rock crystal and 100-diamond brooch that she gave to her mother on her 100th birthday. Beside her were photographs of the Queen Mother, King George VI and Princess Margaret.

But rather than dwell on her losses, the Queen chose to focus on the success of the celebrations that accompanied the anniversary of her 50 years on the throne.

"In a different way I felt that the golden jubilee was more than just an anniversary. The celebrations were joyous occasions," said the Queen, "but they also seemed to evoke something more lasting and profound – a sense of belonging and pride in country, town or community; a sense of sharing a common heritage enriched by the cultural, ethnic and religious diversity of our 21st-century society."

She also talked about how the events of the past 12 months had made her more reliant on her own religious faith. "Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God," she said.

"Like others of you who draw inspiration from your own faith, I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel."

The Queen was joined by Prince William, her grandson, and other members of the Royal Family for the Christmas Day church service on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk yesterday morning. As Prince William left the service a fan dashed forwards and gave him a hug.

Marlene Ponce, who is 42, ducked under a rope keeping back the crowds outside the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the royal estate.

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