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Queen urges young, old to bond on Christmas

Illuminated by sunshine filtering through church-stained glass, Queen Elizabeth urged all generations to come together in her annual Christmas Day address.
Illuminated by sunshine filtering through church stained glass, Queen Elizabeth urged all generations to come together in the spirit of the season in this year's annual Christmas Day address.
Queen Elizabeth smiles after attending the traditional Christmas Day church service at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham Estate in eastern England Monday. ((Matt Dunham/pool/Associated Press))


"The pressures of modern life sometimes seem to be weakening the links which have traditionally kept us together as families and communities," the Queen said in the pre-recorded speech, part of which wasfilmed at Southwark Cathedral in London.

For the first time, the Queen delivered her traditionalChristmas speech in a podcast, making the leap to the digital age in a seven-minute video stream that can bedownloaded from the internet.

Respect for the elderly and finding new ways to connect generations was a central theme this year in her annual Dec. 25message.

The monarch, wearing pearls and a spring green coat, also commented on today's "ever-changing technological environment" and the role such developments can sometimes play in widening a divide between young and old.

It is worth noting, she said, that while faiths may seem so different from one another, many scriptures promote a common message of the importance of building and keeping young and old generations close.

"It is very easy to concentrate on the differences between the religious faiths, and to forget what they have in common," the Queen says. "People of different faiths are bound together with the need to help the young generation to be considerate and active citizens."

Elizabeth helps children build nativity

Segments of the speech cut to footage of the Queen observing a Jewish ceremony and chatting with children during her 80th birthday.
Queen Elizabeth smiles at her great niece, four-year-old Margarita Armstrong-Jones, after attending the Christmas Day service. ((Chris Radburn/Associated Press))


In one scene filmed at the cathedral, the Queen is shown helping schoolchildren at a craft-making table build a mosaic of a nativity scene.

"What's a betting that all mine will fall off first?" she says, nudging a coloured tile onto the display.

She then remarks to a student the finished piece "should twinkle rather well, shouldn't it?"