The Queen’s Christmas message has been broadcast on television and radio in the United Kingdom and around the Commonwealth.
Recorded at Buckingham Palace, the 2015 Christmas message features The Queen’s reflection of events which have happened over the past year, as well as looking on forwards.
The 89-year-old Monarch’s religious beliefs played a big part in this year’s message, much more than in previous years.
Her Majesty spoke of the troubles that people have been subjected to from the past year and quoted a verse which she said gave hope.
She said: “It is true that the world has had to confront moments of darkness this year, but the Gospel of John contains a verse of great hope often read at Christmas carol services: ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’”.
A Christmas Day message has been delivered by the monarch to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth most years since 1932.Her Majesty also reflected on the fact that this year marks 70 years since the end of the Second World War and she extended her thanks to those who took part in the conflict and the sacrifices they made.
The first Christmas message was broadcast over 80 years ago over the radio from Sandringham by the Queen’s grandfather George V. This was one of the defining moments of the 20th century and set out a long lasting tradition that no monarch has broken.
The 2015 Christmas message was produced by ITN and was broadcast today at 15:00 GMT on BBC1, ITV, Sky 1 and Sky News, as well as BBC Radio 4and Classic FM.
The speech is expected to be one of the most watched and listened to the programs of the festive period. 7.8 million viewers tuned in last year from the UK alone.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore a calf-length green coat with a broach as she arrived alongside Prince Harry and the Duke of Cambridge at the traditional Christmas Day church service on the Sandringham estate.
The Duchess chatted to her brother-in-law as she made her way into St Mary Magdalene Church with other senior members of the Royal Family.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge smiled as, led by the Queen, they arrived without their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
They were joined by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Andrew, The Earl and Countess of Wessex and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
Dutchess of Cambridge Photo: Stephen Lock / i-Images
The Queen opted for a vibrant red coat and matching hat for her second outfit of the day, after she was pictured wearing a brown fur coat.
The Duchess of Cornwall wore grey coat printed with a geometric pattern.
Prince Charles and Camilla Photo: REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Around 1,000 well-wishers, some wearing festive jumpers and Union flag fancy dress, lined the roads for hours, listening to the National Anthem and the hymn Angels From The Realm Of Glory. The Royal Family walk past the gathered crowds after they leave the church following a second service.
There was speculation that Prince George would go to the event for the first time but he was not in attendance.
The Queen was seen stepping out of her car alongside her daughter-in-law, the Countess of Wessex.
Before changing into a bright red outfit, the Queen arrived at the chapel on the Sandringham Estate in a brown fur coat which she has owned since 1961.
Her Majesty was followed by her sons, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, and her daughter-in-law the Duchess of Cornwall.
The Queen during her visit at Sandringham in 2014 Photo: Stepehn Lock/I-images
The coat is one of her favourites and she has been pictured wearing it on several occasions stretching back over fifty years.
The Duke of Edinburgh (centre) arrives for a private family service Photo: Chris Radburn/PA
Animal rights groups have previously reacted with disappointment at the Queen’s controversial decision to wear fur.
Back in January 1961 she was pictured wearing it when she was about to embark on a 20,000 mile Royal Tour of India, Pakistan and Iran.
Queen Elizabeth II during her visit in 2002 in Canada Photo: PA
Then later in March 1969 she was photographed on a tube train when she attended the launch of London’s Victoria Line.
She was also seen wearing the coat in 1985, 1996 and 2013.
Queen Elizabeth photographed in 1994 with then Russian President Boris Yeltsin at the eternal flame in St. Petersburg’s Piskarevskoye Cemetery Photo: PA
On average, the Queen is said to make at least five clothes changes on Christmas Day – choosing a new outfit for breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner, and something to wear for shooting or horseback riding.
As well as these changes on the day, the Queen also reveals an outfit in herannual pre-recorded Christmas Day speech which is aired every year on December 25th at 3pm.
The Queen arrived in Norfolk by train last week to oversee preparations for Christmas Day on the estate.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had only a short journey to make to join the family, travelling from their home at nearby Anmer Hall.
As they left the service, the Queen waved to the crowds as some well-wishers shouted: “Merry Christmas Your Majesty.”
William and Kate paused to chat with mother and daughter Jill and Vicky Symon, who had travelled from New Plymouth in New Zealand.
Vicky said: “They asked how we were and commented on the cold weather. They also told us how much they enjoyed their recent tour of New Zealand.”
Harry had his photograph taken with Maureen, a teddy bear owned by the nearby Park House Leonard Cheshire home.
Paul Ashfield, who handed the bear to the prince, said: “We try to get as many royals as possible to pose with the bear.
“Harry has done it before and so has Prince Charles so it is great he was willing to do it again.”
Many of the royals walked briskly back to the house as the rain began to fall. They will enjoy a Christmas lunch this afternoon.
Queen Elizabeth II sits at a desk in the 18th Century Room at Buckingham Palace, London, after recording her Christmas Day broadcast to the Commonwealth. Photo: John Stillwell/PA