Queen Elizabeth II, in her Christmas Day speech, will praise the “selfless” work done by health care workers fighting the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa, media reports said. The speech has been pre-recorded and will be televised in many parts of the world on Thursday afternoon.
The queen’s speech will reportedly be broadcast at 3:00 p.m. local time (10:00 a.m. EST), and the theme of this year’s annual speech is reconciliation. The message, which was written by the queen, was reportedly recorded earlier this month in Buckingham Palace, and it is one of the few occasions when the monarch expresses her own views without any government involvement.
"I have been deeply touched this year by the selflessness of aid workers and medical volunteers who have gone abroad to help victims of conflict or of diseases like Ebola, often at great personal risk,” the queen will say in her annual address, according to BBC.
The 88-year-old British monarch will also talk about a new World War I memorial at the Tower of London, which features 888,246 ceramic poppies -- one poppy dedicated to each British or colonial soldier's life lost in the war.
"The ceramic poppies at the Tower of London drew millions, and the only possible reaction to walking among them was silence. For every poppy, a life; a reminder of the grief of loves ones left behind," the queen will reportedly say.
In October, the queen and her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, visited the memorial, which is called the "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red."
The queen reportedly has plans to celebrate the holiday with her husband and other senior royals at Sandringham House in Norfolk. They also have plans to attend a church service on Thursday.