Queen ‘touched’ by Ebola workers


Published: Thursday 25th December 2014 by The News Editor

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The Queen will describe in her traditional Christmas message how she has been “deeply touched” by the “selflessness” of medical staff fighting the Ebola outbreak.

The UK is one of a number of nations that has seen its doctors and nurses volunteer to help countries such as Sierra Leone in West Africa combat the epidemic.

The medical staff, and those who provide humanitarian relief in warzones, will be praised by the Queen in her annual address to the nation, which comes after a busy year for the Royal Family.

The theme of this year’s Christmas broadcast is reconciliation and the head of state will say: “I have been deeply touched this year by the selflessness of aid workers and medical volunteers who have gone abroad to help victims of conflict or of diseases like Ebola, often at great personal risk.”

Major events have been staged this year to commemorate those who died in the First World War, which began 100 years ago.

In her annual message, the Queen will highlight one moving tribute to the fallen, the 888,246 ceramic poppies, one for each British and Colonial death, planted in the moat at the Tower of London earlier this year.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh visited Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red in October, and walked through the art installation created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins.

The Queen, who wears a purple dress by Angela Kelly and a diamond and pearl brooch inherited from her grandmother, Queen Mary, will say about the hugely popular attraction: “The ceramic poppies at the Tower of London drew millions, and the only possible reaction to walking among them was silence.

“For every poppy, a life; and a reminder of the grief of loved ones left behind.”

The Queen recorded her Christmas message seated next to a table featuring separate photographs of her grandparents George V and Queen Mary and an embossed brass box.

The box was a Christmas Day gift for those serving overseas in the First World War during 1914, and was organised by the Sailors & Soldiers Christmas Fund created by Princess Mary, George’s daughter, and filled with a variety of gifts from tobacco for smokers to chocolate for nurses.

The Christmas address is written by the Queen and usually has a strong religious framework, reflects current issues and draws on her own experiences over the past year.

The speech is one of the rare occasions when she does not turn to the Government for advice but is able to voice her own views.

The Queen’s traditional message was produced this year by the BBC and recorded in Buckingham Palace’s state dining room.

The message will be transmitted on both television and radio at 3pm on Christmas Day.

It will be available on the Royal Channel on the YouTube website and will also be shown in Commonwealth countries.

The broadcast was filmed using 4K ultra-high-definition digital TV cameras.

Published: Thursday 25th December 2014 by The News Editor

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