Since 1957, it has been customary for Her Majesty the Queen to give an annual, televised Christmas greeting. This year marked the 50th anniversary of the tradition, and, more importantly, it was also the first time her message was posted on YouTube.
And it was nice. I’m not contrarian to the point where I would deny that. One thing I always admire is how the Queen is probably among the last heads of state on Earth who can still get away with offering an explicit Christmas greeting from an unabashedly Christian perspective. It’s always refreshing in these politically correct “Happy Holidays” times of ours.
But, as usual, the Queen’s message was also very British centric, despite being ostensibly directed to “the Commonwealth.” We got to watch some British soldiers in Afghanistan under the Union Jack, and saw footage of the dedication of Britain’s new National Memorial Arboretum—both sights which are not terribly relevant or moving unless you happen to be a resident of the British isles.
A better speech would have thrown in some footage of the various things Her Maj did around the Commonwealth this year, such as when she dedicated the restored Canadian Vimy Ridge monument in April, or visited Uganda in November. But this is the one speech a year that the Queen writes entirely herself, and she seems to know that her audience consists of mostly elderly British BBC viewers.
Take a look at that header on the YouTube channel too, by the way. Official channel of the British Monarchy, not the Commonwealth monarchy or Canadian monarchy or Jamaican monarchy or anything else.
I remember this great quote by Richard Nixon where he said that it didn’t matter if the domino theory was wrong, because the dominoes themselves believed it. The supposed Commonwealth monarchy embodied by Queen Elizabeth may no longer be a solely British institution, but the institution itself seems to believe otherwise.