In Christmas Message, Queen Honors Cities Hit by Terror

In this undated image supplied by Sky News, Queen Elizabeth II sits at a desk in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace, after recording her Christmas Day broadcast to the Commonwealth at Buckingham Palace, London. (Photo by John Stillwell – WPA Pool/ Getty Images)

LONDON (AP) — 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 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 and London.

The queen, her husband, Prince Philip, and family members plan to attend a church service Monday on the grounds of Elizabeth’s country estate in Sandringham. They typically mingle with locals who come to watch them arrive at church.

The royal family has a private lunch scheduled afterward. This is the first Christmas the family will be joined by Prince Harry’s fiancee, American actress Meghan Markle.