SANDRINGHAM, England (AP) – Queen Elizabeth II weaves personal reflections in the latest issue of her annual Christmas announcement, saying she hoped her long life led to wisdom and noted her grandson's contribution to the UK's royal family.
The 92-year-old queen, the world's longest ruling living monarch, also included the usual tribute to military personnel and desires for world peace in the message, which was pre-recorded in Buckingham Palace and Tuesday television.
"Some cultures believe that a long life gives wisdom," Elizabeth said in the recording. "I would like to think. Perhaps part of that wisdom is to recognize some of life's confusing paradoxes, such as the way humans have a great propensity for good and yet a capacity for evil."
On a brighter note, Queen Windsor Windsor's 2018 enlightened milestones with the same unabashed pride of someone who wrote her annual Christmas letter to friends and dependent relatives.
"It has been a busy year for my family, with two weddings and two babies, and another child is expected soon. It helps keep a grandmother busy," Elizabeth said, not forgetting to mention her own firstborn,
"We've also had other celebrations, including the 70th anniversary of The Prince of Wales," otherwise known as the heir to the Prince Charles throne.
The annual report was sent to many of the 53 Commonwealth countries. Elizabeth recalled that her father, King George VI, welcomed eight former British colonies at the first meeting of Commonwealth leaders in 1948.
"Even with the deepest differences, treating the other person with respect and being fellow human beings, it is always a good first step towards greater understanding," she said.
The Queen mentioned his father, from whom she inherited the throne when he died in 1952, again while expressing gratitude for soldiers and sailors past and present. During World War I, two decades before his own unexpected ascent to the throne, he served with the Royal Navy and saw friends killed in battle, Elizabeth said.
"At Christmas, we become very aware of loved ones who died, whatever the circumstances. But of course we would not make sure we did not love.
Earlier in the day Elizabeth and her family got a bowl of Christmas when they came to a church service in the English countryside. A driver's limousine gave the queen while her descendants and their spouses walked from a monarch's nearby property.
Prince Charles led the way, followed by his sons: Prince William and his wife, Catherine and Prince Harry and his pregnant wife Meghan. Harry and the former American actress known as Meghan Markle married in May and expect their first child in the spring.
The couple went in arm next to William and Catherine. Many in the audience wanted them "Merry Christmas" as they strolled to the church in the English landscape on a cold, wintery morning.
After 45 minutes of service, people gave them flowers that they went back to a traditional Christmas lunch.
The Queen's husband, Prince Philip, who is 97 and largely retired from public life, did not participate in the service. Charles wife Camilla, who recovers from the flu, also missed the church.
William and Katharine's three children – Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 3 and 8 month old Prince Louis, also lived at home.
The UK royal usually exchanges small gifts on Christmas Eve, a practice popular by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The queen usually wrinkles on extravagant gifts, and many of the gifts are news articles.
When the Queen was younger, Christmas meant a quick family trip through the forest at Christmas or a ride on horseback.
Elizabeth delivered her first Christmas bid when she took the throne in 1952. The seasonal addresses were broadcast on the radio until she was transferred to TV in 1957.
They have been broadcast every year by the government, saving one. In 1969, the Queen decided that her family had had enough exposure from giving a television crew unusual access to a documentary.
That year, she published the message in writing.