Queen Elizabeth's annual royal Christmas message has become as traditional as Christmas itself, with families huddling around their TV sets after tucking into a hearty roast lunch anxiously awaiting to hear what her majesty has to say as she reflects on the year.
But this year is a first for the 86-year-old monarch as her Christmas day message has been filmed in 3D. The queen watched a sneak peak preview of her broadcast wearing dark glasses complete with a Q made out of glittering Swarovski glasses worthy of a rock star.
This year the message contains the impact of the London 2012 Olympic Games saying "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."
Just like every other Christmas, her majesty is at her Sandringham Estate with husband Prince Philip and other members of the royal family where they usually spend Christmas, but breaking with tradition this year the second in line to the throne, Prince William and wife Catherine, will not be spending the festive day with them. Instead they'll be at home with the prince's in-laws, the Middleton's, at their home in the quaint and bucolic village of Bucklebury.
In a statement, the palace said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge plan to attend Sandringham at some point in the Christmas period.
Meanwhile, the queen is said to be recovering from a cold and was forced to miss the Sunday church service disappointing dozens of well wishers who had gathered outside the church to catch a glimpse of her.
Prince Philip did attend the service along with some members of the royal family including Prince Andrew, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
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- royal Christmas message
- Prince Philip