Queen to pay tribute to Mumbai terror victims in Christmas broadcast

December 24th, 2008 - 3:23 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Dec 24 (IANS) Capping a sombre year, the British Queen is to express sympathy with victims of the global credit crunch and “extremist violence” in Mumbai in her Christmas Day message to be broadcast Thursday.The traditional 10-minute message, broadcast on Christmas afternoon, is one of the rare occasions when the British monarch is able to voice her views by drawing upon her own experiences.

According to excerpts released by Buckingham Palace Wednesday, Queen Elizabeth II will pay tributes to those who have led “unselfish lives in the service of others’ - particularly the military - and those who have lost their lives to terrorism, including the victims of last month’s attack on Mumbai.

“People are touched by events which have their roots far across the world,” she will tell viewers and listeners in a broadcast that is now considered as traditional as roast turkey and Christmas pudding.

Describing Christmas 2008 as a “sombre occasion,” she will refer to feelings of insecurity among people.

The Queen, who is said to have felt the effects of the financial meltdown herself through mounting energy bills, struck a common chord with the nation during a visit to the London School of Economics recently when she said: “It’s awful - why did nobody see it coming?”

She will say lots of people have been touched by world events, “whether it is the global economy or violence in a distant land”.

“Some of those things which could once have been taken for granted suddenly seem less certain and naturally give rise to feelings of insecurity,” she will say.

Her comments are set to be heard by many Britons who fear redundancies in the months ahead, but also by thousands of small businesses and shops which are hoping for increased high street sales.

Symbolically, the Queen chose to record the message in the music room at Buckingham Palace where the heir apparent Prince Charles was christened and is standing in front of a grand piano covered with family photographs.

For the first time, the Queen has also chosen to use previously unseen home movie footage of herself as a young woman playing with Charles, then aged just one.

The message will be transmitted on both television and radio at 3 p.m. GMT on Christmas Day and will be simultaneously available on the Royal Channel on the YouTube website.

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