Queen's speech: Monarch's pro-Europe Christmas message – 'Skating on thin ice'

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Queen Elizabeth II is set to make her 69th Christmas address today, and reports suggest she will look to strike a “personal” tone. You will be able to watch the Queen’s speech on BBC One, ITV, Sky One and Sky News, while you can listen it on BBC Radio 4. Usually, the Queen’s speech will be aired at 3pm on Christmas Day, and it typically lasts around 10 minutes. While the theme has not yet been revealed for this year’s Queen’s speech, she is expected to touch on the impact of the pandemic, make some personal reflections and pay homage to the late Prince Philip.

Throughout her time as monarch, the Queen has overseen some historic moments.

This has been reflected in her Christmas addresses, including in 1972, when she spoke supportively of the EU’s precursor – the EEC.

The UK joined the European Economic Community in January 1973 under Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath.

A month prior to this, the Queen praised the bloc for “trying to create a wider family of nations” and for working together for the benefit of the “whole world”.

She told the nation: “Britain and these others European countries see in the Community a new opportunity for the future.

“They believe that the things they have in common are more important than the things which divide them, and that if they work together not only they, but the whole world will benefit.

“We are trying to create a wider family of nations and it is particularly at Christmas that this family should feel closest together.

“Christmas is above all a time of new life. A time to look hopefully ahead to the future when the problems which fact the world today will be seen in their true perspective.”

A royal expert told that her words “skate on very thin ice” with those opposed the UK’s joining the EEC.

While the Queen is constitutionally obliged to remain politically neutral, but she does discuss the big moments for the UK in her speeches.

The official website of the Royal Family states that the Queen expresses her “own views”, free from government advice.

It states: “Over the years, the broadcasts have chronicled both the life of the nation and of the monarchy; the broadcast is one of the rare occasions when the Queen does not speak on government advice.

READ MORE: Queen’s Speech 1957: Remembering the Queen’s first televised address

The monarch said spoke of “missing friends and family-members distanced for safety, when all they’d really want for Christmas is a simple hug or a squeeze of the hand.”

She also chose to wear a piece of jewellery with a link to her mother. The Queen Mother’s Shell Brooch featuring diamonds and a single pearl was worn by the Queen Mother on her 100th birthday.

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