The ruling glasses: Queen goes hi-tech for tribute to the Olympics


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The Independent Online

The Queen will pay tribute to Britain's "splendid summer of sport" and the nation's Olympic and Paralympic athletes during her Christmas speech tomorrow – as well as donning crystal-encrusted 3D glasses.

"As London hosted a splendid summer of sport, all those who saw the achievement and courage at the Olympic and Paralympic Games were further inspired by the skill, dedication, training and teamwork of our athletes," she will say.

In his Christmas address to the nation today David Cameron also draws on the Olympics for inspiration, quoting the Bible in an appeal for people to remember the armed forces and emergency services amid the festivities. He says Britain "showed the world what we're made of" in 2012 thanks to the Olympic and Paralympic Games and Team GB's medal haul.

The Paralympics will also be the subject of Channel 4's "alternative" Christmas message, delivered this year by the disabled comedian Adam Hills.

The Queen will also pay tribute to how Britain's athletes gave millions of spectators the chance to feel part of the event. "In pursuing their own sporting goals, they gave the rest of us the opportunity to share something of the excitement and drama," she will say.

This year's speech, recorded on 7 December, will be broadcast in 3D for the first time. In behind-the-scenes footage the monarch wears 3D glasses as she watches part of the broadcast, an experience she enjoyed according to Buckingham Palace. They are decorated on each side with the letter 'Q' formed of Swarovski crystals and were worn by the Queen during a visit to a movie training centre in Toronto in 2010.

A spokeswoman for the Palace said: "We wanted to do something a bit different and special in this Jubilee year, so doing it for the first time in 3D seemed a good thing to do. The Queen absolutely agreed straight away, there was no need for convincing at all."

With Prince Harry in Afghanistan and Prince William celebrating Christmas with his in-laws, the Queen's Christmas gathering will be a little light this year. On top of that, she is struggling with a cold which forced her to miss a Sunday service at her Sandringham estate yesterday. The monarch usually visits St Mary Magdalene Church every Sunday while staying at her Norfolk home.

The message will be transmitted on both television and radio at 3pm on Christmas Day.