The Queen has used her traditional Christmas Day broadcast to praise medical workers fighting Ebola in west Africa.
She said she had been “deeply touched” by their “selflessness”.
The Queen also called for reconciliation throughout the world, recalling her visit to Belfast during the year, particularly to the former Crumlin Road Gaol.
On the subject of reconciliation, the Queen said: “In the ruins of the old Coventry Cathedral is a sculpture of a man and a woman reaching out to embrace each other. The sculptor was inspired by the story of a woman who crossed Europe on foot after the war to find her husband. Casts of the same sculpture can be found in Belfast and Berlin, and it is simply called Reconciliation.”
She remarked about, “what’s possible when people reach out to each other,” and refered to the Scottish independence referendum.
“Of course, reconciliation takes different forms. In Scotland after the referendum many felt great disappointment, while others felt great relief; and bridging these differences will take time,” she said in the televised broadcast.
The Queen celebrated the holiday with her husband Prince Philip and other family members at the Sandringham estate in England.
Crowds had gathered since early morning to catch a glimpse of the royals.
Many who hoped to see 17-month-old Prince George were disappointed. The royal toddler stayed at home because his mum Kate was afraid he was too “noisy”.