İrem UZUN -TDO- Queen Elizabeth II gave her annual Christmas speech Friday and discussed the sadness wrought by the coronavirus pandemic. "Some mourning the loss of those dear to them, and others missing friends and family members distanced for safety, when all they'd really want for Christmas is a simple hug or a squeeze of the hand. If you are among them, you are not alone and let me assure you of my thoughts and prayers," she said.

While acknowledging the hardship experienced by many, the Queen devoted much of her address to celebrating the actions of those who have stepped up to provide help.  The Queen in particular highlighted the contributions of front-line workers and young people.  "Remarkably, a year that has necessarily kept people apart has in many ways brought us closer. Across the Commonwealth, my family and I have been inspired by stories of people volunteering in their communities helping those in need," she said.

Her remarks ended on a note of positivity. "The Bible tells how a star appeared in the sky, its light guiding the shepherds and wise men to the scene of Jesus's birth. Let the light of Christmas - the spirit of selflessness, love and above all hope, guide us in the times ahead," she said.

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