In Christmas message, queen honors cities hit by terror

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The Queen will praise the "powerful identities" of London and Manchester that have "shone through" in the face of terrorist attacks this year in her annual Christmas broadcast to the nation today.

The 96-year-old prince, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, has been at the queen's side throughout her 65 years on the throne, and has regularly grabbed the headlines with his off-color comments.

It had been a privilege, she said, to visit young survivors of the bombing at a pop concert in Manchester in May that killed 22 people.

London suffered two deadly attacks, while 22 people were killed in a suicide bombing at Manchester Arena where United States singer Ariana Grande had been performing.

Excerpts released by Buckingham Palace indicate Elizabeth praises the "powerful identities" of Manchester and London.

Her message's main theme was the importance of home. "The patients I met were an example to us all, showing extraordinary bravery and resilience", she said in the 10-minute speech.

"I don't know that anyone had invented the term "platinum" for a 70th wedding anniversary when I was born", she said.

"Even Prince Philip has decided it's time to slow down a little, having, as he economically put it, "done his bit".

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Other performers already announced for the live Times Square performances include Camila Cabello, Nick Jonas and Sugarland. Following the show, Carey posted a meme of herself on social media with the message "s-- happens".

Elizabeth II will say: "We think of our homes as places of warmth, familiarity and love. there is a timeless simplicity to the pull of home".

The address was filmed in Buckingham Palace's 1844 room that is decorated with a Christmas tree and pictures of her husband as well as great grandchildren George and Charlotte.

Headline making events during 2017 include June's General Election, the devastating Grenfell Tower fire, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement and the ongoing Brexit negotiations.

This year, Meghan Markle will join the Royal Family for the first time.

Our thoughts and prayer are with all those who died and those who lost so much, and we are indebted to members of the emergency services who risked their own lives this past year saving others.

In 1957, the Queen delivered her message on television live from Sandringham, where she spends every Christmas with her family.

The Queen, who missed 2016's service with a heavy cold, said in her address that she was looking forward to welcoming new members to the royal family next year.