Queen Elizabeth in her annual Christmas message reflected on the past year and called for the world to come together and work towards peace.
“On our own, we cannot end wars or wipe out injustice,” she said. “But the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagine.”
The Queen, 90, praised those who provided Britain and other members of the Commonwealth with inspiration, from athletes at this year’s Rio Olympics to public servants.
“The message of Christmas reminds us that inspiration is a gift to be given, as well as received,” she said.
“And that love begins small, but always grows.”
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On Christmas morning, a heavy cold kept the Queen from attending the traditional Christmas morning church service near her Sandringham estate in rural Norfolk, England.
It is extremely rare for Elizabeth to miss the service, which is a cornerstone of the royal family’s Christmas celebrations and brings the monarch into contact with local residents who gather outside for a glimpse of her.
“The Queen continues to recover from a heavy cold and will stay indoors to assist with her recovery,” Buckingham Palace said. “Her Majesty will participate in the royal family Christmas celebrations during the day.”
Those festivities usually include a gala lunch. In past years, the royal family would often go for extended walks in the countryside.
Elizabeth has been in generally good health and has maintained an active schedule in the last year despite travelling less often than in the past.
Her husband, 95-year-old Prince Philip, has also cut back his public schedule and his charitable works. He was also suffering from a heavy cold earlier in the week, the palace said.
Elizabeth and Philip will be joined in Sandringham by other senior royals. Prince William and his wife Kate, along with their two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, are celebrating Christmas with Kate’s parents.