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 terrorist 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.
London has been targeted by attackers several times this year, with deadly vehicle attacks near Parliament, on London Bridge and near a mosque in Finsbury Park in north London, as well as a a homemade bomb that was detonated on a subway train, wounding 22. In Manchester, a May 22 suicide bomb attack at city’s central concert arena killed 22 people.
In total, 36 people have been killed in terror attacks in both cities.
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.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.