Queen's Christmas message cites family

Dec. 24, 2008 at 11:28 AM
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LONDON, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Queen Elizabeth's annual Christmas message will be somber and focus on the importance of family during Britain's hard economic times, sources said Wednesday.

The message's tone will acknowledge the country's rising unemployment and uncertainty in the financial markets, The Daily Telegraph reported. It will be delivered against a backdrop of family portraits in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace.

The Queen will include rare film footage from 1949 of the 23-year-old monarch-to-be with her 1-year-old son, Prince Charles, in a drawing room at Clarence House in London, the newspaper said, underlining her theme of the need to strengthen family bonds in times of turmoil.

The queen will also pay tribute to those who have led "unselfish lives in the service of others," such as those in the military, as well as to victims of terrorism, including last month's attack on Mumbai, The Daily Mail reported.

Thursday's message will be the Queen's 56th Christmas Day address to the nation since 1952 and is to be broadcast at 3 p.m. London time, officials said.

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