The Queen urged people to take “small steps” to “rebuild trust” in her televised Christmas Day address.
Speaking in a pre-recorded message from Windsor Castle, the Queen said the British people need to invoke the spirit of communities after World War Two who “set aside their differences” in a “true spirit of reconciliation”.
“Such reconciliation seldom happens overnight,” she said, “It takes patience and time to rebuild trust, and progress often comes through small steps.
“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.
The Queen also said she had been “struck” by the “sense of purpose” younger generations have shown in tackling issues like climate change.
“The challenges many people face today may be different to those once faced by my generation.
“But I have been struck by how new generations have brought a similar sense of purpose to issues such as protecting our environment and our climate,” she continued.
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During her annual address the Queen acknowledged the “bumpy” path her family and the country has faced during the past 12 months, but mentioned some of the positives like the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first child.
“Two hundred years on from the birth of my great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria, Prince Philip and I have been delighted to welcome our eighth great grandchild into our family,” she added.
The Queen said the Christmas message of peace and goodwill still has relevance today – a comment which follows a year of bitter debates in Parliament and the country over Brexit.
Her words are likely to be interpreted as an appeal for the healing of divisions in the country as Britain leaves the EU.
“It’s a timely reminder of what positive things can be achieved when people set aside past differences and come together in the spirit of friendship and reconciliation,” she concluded.
“And, as we all look forward to the start of a new decade, it’s worth remembering that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change.
“And so, I wish you all a very happy Christmas.”