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The Queen extols the virtues of active lifestyles in her annual Christmas Day address, touting sports and friendly competition as an important social connector and window to a "different perspective on life."

Learning about harmony and "positive team spirit" through athletics is a central theme of the 84-year-old monarch’s speech, broadcast at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday on British radio and TV, and also available on YouTube's Royal Channel.

"In the parks, and towns and cities, and on village greens up and down the country, countless thousands of people every week give up their time to participate in sport and exercise of all sorts, or simply encourage others to do so," she said in this year's speech, taped from Hampton Court Palace''s Royal Chapel, on the outskirts of London.

"These kinds of activities are common throughout the world and play a part in providing a different perspective on life."

'Positive team spirit can benefit communities, companies and enterprises of all kinds.' —Queen Elizabeth

Wearing a purple suit, the Queen’s remarks were intercut with footage of her grandsons, William and Harry, playing soccer with African orphans during a June charity trip to Lesotho in South Africa.

Her speech also comes about three months before tickets go on sale in March for the 2012 Olympic Games, to be held in London in 2012.

The Queen herself enjoys riding horses at her Windsor estate. Her husband, Prince Philip, and their son, Prince Charles, as well as Charles's sons also represent generations of royals who play polo.

The backdrop of Hampton Court Palace, the previous residence of King Henry VIII, was a departure from the Queen's usual Christmas Day address, which is traditionally taped from Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle.

References Hampton Court Palace setting

She referenced the setting as the place where the future of Christianity was once discussed more than 400 years ago, resulting in the commissioning of the King James Bible.

"Acknowledged as a masterpiece of English prose and the most vivid translation of the scriptures, the glorious language of this Bible has survived the turbulence of history and given many of us the most widely recognized and beautiful descriptions of the birth of Jesus Christ which we celebrate today," she said.


Queen Elizabeth records her Christmas Day broadcast to the Commonwealth in the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace, west of London. ((John Stillwell/Reuters))

The co-operative endeavour among churchmen four centuries ago illustrated the importance of community building, "and one of the most powerful ways of doing this is through sport and games," she added.

"This sort of positive team spirit can benefit communities, companies and enterprises of all kinds."

The Queen has made a Christmas broadcast on radio since 1952 and on TV since 1957. She writes the speeches herself, one of the few occasions she voices her own opinion without government consultation.

With files from The Associated Press