Christmas Broadcast 2009
Published 25 December 2009
I am confident that this diverse Commonwealth of nations can strengthen the common bond that transcends politics, religion, race and economic circumstances.
Each year that passes seems to have its own character. Some leave us with a feeling of satisfaction, others are best forgotten. 2009 was a difficult year for many, in particular those facing the continuing effects of the economic downturn.
I am sure that we have all been affected by events in Afghanistan and saddened by the casualties suffered by our forces serving there. Our thoughts go out to their relations and friends who have shown immense dignity in the face of great personal loss. But, we can be proud of the positive contribution that our servicemen and women are making, in conjunction with our allies.
Well over 13,000 soldiers from the United Kingdom, and across the Commonwealth - Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore - are currently serving in Afghanistan. The debt of gratitude owed to these young men and women, and to their predecessors, is indeed profound.
It is sixty years since the Commonwealth was created and today, with more than a billion of its members under the age of 25, the organisation remains a strong and practical force for good. Recently I attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Trinidad and Tobago and heard how important the Commonwealth is to young people.
New communication technologies allow them to reach out to the wider world and share their experiences and viewpoints. For many, the practical assistance and networks of the Commonwealth can give skills, lend advice and encourage enterprise.
It is inspiring to learn of some of the work being done by these young people, who bring creativity and innovation to the challenges they face.
It is important to keep discussing issues that concern us all – there can be no more valuable role for our family of nations.
I have been closely associated with the Commonwealth through most of its existence. The personal and living bond I have enjoyed with leaders, and with people the world over, has always been more important in promoting our unity than symbolism alone. The Commonwealth is not an organisation with a mission. It is rather an opportunity for its people to work together to achieve practical solutions to problems.
In many aspects of our lives, whether in sport, the environment, business or culture, the Commonwealth connection remains vivid and enriching. It is, in lots of ways, the face of the future. And with continuing support and dedication, I am confident that this diverse Commonwealth of nations can strengthen the common bond that transcends politics, religion, race and economic circumstances.
We know that Christmas is a time for celebration and family reunions; but it is also a time to reflect on what confronts those less fortunate than ourselves, at home and throughout the world.
Christians are taught to love their neighbours, having compassion and concern, and being ready to undertake charity and voluntary work to ease the burden of deprivation and disadvantage. We may ourselves be confronted by a bewildering array of difficulties and challenges, but we must never cease to work for a better future for ourselves and for others.
I wish you all, wherever you may be, a very happy Christmas.
Christmas Broadcast 2015
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At Christmas I am always struck by how the spirit of togetherness lies also at the heart of the Christmas story.
Christmas Broadcast 1997
Being united - that is, feeling a unity of purpose - is the glue that bonds together the members of a family, a country, a Commonwealth.
Christmas Broadcast 2002
All great religions have such times of renewal, moments to take stock before moving on to face the challenges which lie ahead.
Christmas Broadcast 1977
My hope this Christmas is that the Christian spirit of reconciliation may burn as strongly in our hearts during the coming year.
Christmas Broadcast 1972
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Christmas Broadcast 1975
Then Christmas comes, and once again we are reminded that people matter, and it is our relationship with one another that is most important.
Christmas Broadcast 2014
For every poppy a life; and a reminder of the grief of loved ones left behind.
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We are forever grateful to all those who put themselves at risk to keep us safe.
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Right around the world, people gather to compete under standard rules and, in most cases, in a spirit of friendly rivalry.
Christmas Broadcast 2008
When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.
Christmas Broadcast 2007
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Christmas Broadcast 2006
The birth of a baby brings great happiness - but then the business of growing up begins.
Christmas Broadcast 2005
These natural and human tragedies provided the headline news; they also provoked a quite remarkable humanitarian response.
Christmas Broadcast 2004
Everyone is our neighbour, no matter what race, creed or colour.
Arrangements for The Queen's Christmas Broadcast to the Commonwealth
Christmas Broadcast 2001
For Christmas marks a moment to pause, to reflect and believe in the possibilities of rebirth and renewal.
Christmas Broadcast 2000
By any measure this Millennium year has been an unforgettable one.
Christmas Broadcast 1999
This December we are looking back not just on one year, but on a hundred years and a thousand years.
Christmas Broadcast 1998
Though we each lead different lives, the experience of growing older, and the joys and emotions which it brings, are familiar to us all.
Christmas Broadcast 1996
I remember my own childhood Christmases here, with my father and mother, and a great family gathering, and now I delight in seeing my children and grandchildren enjoying the...
Christmas Broadcast 1995
But I cannot think of any Christmas of my reign when the message of the angels has been more apt.
Christmas Broadcast 1954
So, our Commonwealth hearth becomes more precious than ever before by the contrast between its homely security and the storm which sometimes seems to be brewing outside, in...
Christmas Broadcast 1994
To see British and Russian veterans standing together, in memory of the sacrifices of their comrades-in-arms, was a moving experience.
Christmas Broadcast 1992
I first came here for Christmas as a grandchild. Nowadays, my grandchildren come here for the same family festival.
Christmas Broadcast 1991
I am constantly amazed by the generosity of donors and subscribers, great and small, who give so willingly and often towards the enjoyment of others.
Christmas Broadcast 1990
I hope that all of us lucky enough to be able to enjoy such gatherings this Christmas will take time to count our blessings.
Christmas Broadcast 1989
Unlike all the other planets in the solar system, earth shimmers green and blue in the sunlight and looks a very pleasant place to live.
Christmas Broadcast 1988
May the Christmas story encourage you, for it is a message of hope every year, not for a few, but for all.
Christmas Broadcast 1987
I hope we will all help each other to have a happy Christmas and, when the New Year comes, resolve to work for tolerance and understanding between all people.
Christmas Broadcast 1986
There are many serious and threatening problems in this country and in the world but they will never be solved until there is peace in our homes and love in our hearts.
Christmas Broadcast 1985
These success stories are often pushed into the background but they are the guarantee of our future.
Christmas Broadcast 1984
But friendship, whether we are talking of continents or next door neighbours, should not need strife as its forerunner.
Christmas Broadcast 1983
I hope that Christmas will remind us all that it is not how we communicate but what we communicate with each other that really matters.
Christmas Broadcast 1982
Throughout history, seamen all over the world have shared a common experience and there is a special sense of brotherhood between merchant and naval seamen, fishermen...
Christmas Broadcast 1981
All around us we see these acts of selflessness, people putting the life of someone else before their own.
Christmas Broadcast 1980
I come across examples of unselfish service in all walks of life and in many unexpected places.
Christmas Broadcast 1979
Today we celebrate the birth of the child who transformed history and gave us a great faith.
Christmas Broadcast 1978
My grandfather, King George V, started the tradition of the Christmas Day Broadcasts back in 1932.
Christmas Broadcast 1976
Remember that good spreads outwards and every little does help.
Christmas Broadcast 1973
I believe that Christmas should remind us that the qualities of the human spirit are more important than material gain.
Christmas Broadcast 1971
The Christmas message is really one for all seasons and not just for one day of the year.