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The Queen admits to ‘bumpy’ year in annual Christmas speech

Click to play video 'Queen’s Christmas Message 2019' Queen’s Christmas Message 2019
WATCH: Queen's Christmas Message 2019 (FULL)

In her annual Christmas speech, Queen Elizabeth II will acknowledge that both Britain and her family have had a “bumpy” time this year.

Released excerpts of the Queen’s speech, which was pre-recorded and will be broadcast on Christmas Day, nod to the difficulties of 2019. It was recorded before the monarch’s husband, Prince Philip, was hospitalized in London on Dec. 20 as a precautionary measure.

Buckingham Palace released the clips on Christmas Eve. The Queen’s speech reflects on the past year and shares wishes for the year ahead.

READ MORE: From babies to scandal, the Royal Family’s biggest moments of 2019

“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 said while talking about the need for reconciliation and forgiveness.

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Click to play video 'Royal Family leaves Christmas church service' Royal Family leaves Christmas church service
Royal Family leaves Christmas church service

She is thought to be referring both to Britain’s tortuous path out of the European Union, which led to a lengthy political stalemate broken only earlier this month when voters gave the pro-Brexit Conservative Party a comfortable majority in Parliament, and to the Royal Family’s setbacks.

This year has no doubt been challenging for the Royal Family.

The Queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, stepped down from his royal duties after a disastrous BBC interview in which he defended his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and denied having sex with a woman named Virginia Roberts Giuffre.

Click to play video 'Prince Philip leaves hospital in time for Christmas' Prince Philip leaves hospital in time for Christmas
Prince Philip leaves hospital in time for Christmas

Giuffre says she was trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex with the prince in 2001 when she was only 17. Prince Andrew denies these allegations.

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The family has also endured a public rift between Prince William and Prince Harry.

The Duke of Sussex is celebrating Christmas with wife Meghan Markle and son Archie in Canada this year rather than spending the holidays at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate — a long-standing royal tradition.

Kensington Palace also released a photo from the Queen’s speech on Instagram. In the picture, Queen Elizabeth II is sitting at a desk with framed photos around her.

View this post on Instagram

Merry Christmas! This year The Queen's Speech was filmed in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle. It will be broadcast on Christmas Day at 3pm GMT. This year also marked the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and in The Queen's Christmas Speech Her Majesty will reflect on the commemorations. "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. . "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.” Watch The Queen's Christmas broadcast on TV, radio and online here tomorrow at 3pm GMT.

A post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily) on

Commenters were quick to point out that Prince Harry, Markle and Archie were absent from the photo collection. The family was featured on the Queen’s table in her 2018 Christmas speech.

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READ MORE: Buckingham Palace releases photos of Royal Family members making Christmas dessert

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released their own Christmas card on Monday, featuring a seven-month-old Archie up close to the camera.

— With files from the Associated Press 

Laura.Hensley@globalnews.ca