Britain's Queen Elizabeth watches a preview of her
Christmas message with a pair of 3D glasses, studded with
Swarovski crystals in the form of a "Q", at Buckingham
Palace in central London. Photo supplied to Reuters.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth will use her traditional
Christmas Day message, filmed in 3D for the first time, to pay
tribute to the world's athletes for delivering a "splendid
summer of sport" at the London Olympics.
In her personal address to the nation, the monarch will pay
tribute to the competitors' "skill, dedication, training and
teamwork", her office said.
The 86-year-old head of state provided an Olympic highlight
when she made a surprise comic turn with James Bond actor
Daniel Craig in a short film for the opening ceremony.
"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, according to advance extracts.
Queen Elizabeth missed a church service at her country
retreat on Sunday due to a cold, Buckingham Palace said. Her
message was pre-recorded and will go out as expected.
It comes at the end of a landmark year for the royal family.
Queen Elizabeth marked 60 years on the throne with the
Diamond Jubilee celebrations and her grandson Prince William
and his wife Kate are expecting their first baby.
Prime Minister David Cameron issued his own Christmas message
in which he talked of Britain's "extraordinary year".
"We cheered our queen to the rafters with the Jubilee, showed
the world what we're made of by staging the most spectacular
Olympic and Paralympic Games ever and - let's not forget -
punched way above our weight in the medals table," he said.
The first Christmas broadcast was given by Queen Elizabeth's
grandfather George V in 1932. It has become a Christmas Day
tradition for many families to watch it together after lunch.