LONDON – Queen Elizabeth II is using her annual Christmas message to pay tribute to the way the cities of London and Manchester pulled together after extremist attacks earlier this year.
Remarks pre-recorded by the 91-year-old monarch will be televised on Christmas Day in the United Kingdom and the 51 other Commonwealth countries.
Excerpts released by Buckingham Palace indicate Elizabeth praises the "powerful identities" of Manchester, hit by a suicide bomber in May, and London, which endured attacks on Parliament, London Bridge and other landmarks.
The queen says it was her privilege to visit young survivors of the attack on a Manchester concert hall as they were recovering from the blast which claimed 22 lives. "I describe that hospital visit as a 'privilege' because the patients I met were an example to us all, showing extraordinary bravery and resilience," she says.