Watch again: Queen Elizabeth delivers Christmas message after 'bumpy' 2019

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By Lauren Chadwick
Queen Elizabeth II records her annual Christmas broadcast in Windsor Castle, Berkshire.
Queen Elizabeth II records her annual Christmas broadcast in Windsor Castle, Berkshire.   -  Copyright  Steve Parsons/PA pool via AP   -   Steve Parsons

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II will say that 2019 felt at times "quite bumpy" in her pre-recorded Christmas broadcast.

"The path, of course, is not always smooth, and may at times this year have felt quite bumpy, but small steps can make a world of difference," the Queen will say in the speech set to be broadcast as usual on Christmas Day.

The message comes at the end of a year that has seen political debate in the United Kingdom resulting in a recent election and Brexit vote that will have the country leave the European Union at the end of next year.

The year has also been "bumpy" for the royal family.

The Queen's husband Prince Philip has only just been released from a four-night stint in hospital. Before Tuesday morning's release, Prince Charles told reporters his father was being "looked after very well in hospital".

Meanwhile, Prince Andrew, the Queen's third son, recently stepped down from royal duties over his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The decision came after the prince was ridiculed for an interview in which he rebutted claims that he had sex with a teenager.

Read more: Prince Andrew ridiculed for 'car crash' interview over Epstein scandal

In October, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gave an interview in which they spoke about struggling with media attention. Prince Harry also sued two British tabloids over allegations of phone hacking.

2019 has not, however, trounced 1992, which Her Majesty termed as her annus horribilis, containing as it did two separations, a divorce, unwelcome publications and a huge fire at Windsor Castle.

This year's Christmas broadcast

The Queen will also speak about the commemorations that marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day in June, offering a message of reconciliation, according to excerpts released by Buckingham Palace.

"For the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of that decisive battle, in a true spirit of reconciliation, those who had formerly been sworn enemies came together in friendly commemorations either side of the Channel, putting past differences behind them," she will say.

"By being willing to put past differences behind us and move forward together, we honour the freedom and democracy once won for us at so great a cost."

The speech this year was filmed in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle.

The first Christmas Broadcast was delivered by the Queen's grandfather George V in 1932. According to the palace, the Queen's father George VI gave Christmas broadcasts during World War II to boost morale, establishing the annual tradition. The first televised Christmas message took place in 1957.

Other European monarchs address their nation

It's not just Queen Elizabeth who makes such addresses.

King Philippe of Belgium, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, and King Felipe of Spain broadcast messages on Christmas Eve.

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and King Carl Gustaf of Sweden join the Queen of England by speaking on Christmas Day.