25 Dec 2012

Olympic stars hailed by Queen

10:53 am on 25 December 2012

The Queen will use her Christmas Day message to pay tribute to the world's athletes for their performances at the London Olympics and Paralympics.

Her office said on Monday the monarch will pay tribute to their "skill, dedication, training and teamwork".

During the address the Queen will say: "As London hosted a splendid summer of sport, all those who saw the achievement and courage at the Olympic and Paralympic Games were further inspired by the skill, dedication, training and teamwork of our athletes.

"In pursuing their own sporting goals, they gave the rest of us the opportunity to share something of the excitement and drama."

The Queen had her own starring role in the Olympics, declaring them officially open after appearing to parachute into the stadium with James Bond.

For the first time, the message will be screened in 3D. It was recorded in the white drawing room at Buckingham Palace on 7 December, by Sky News. The Queen wore a fine silk tulle gown by Angela Kelly.

It is 80 years since George V first broadcast a Christmas speech on the radio and started the tradition.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said:

"We wanted to do something a bit different and special in this Jubilee year, so doing it for the first time in 3D seemed a good thing, technology-wise, to do."

The message will be transmitted on both television and radio at 15:00 GMT on Christmas Day.

It will be available on the Royal Channel on the YouTube website and will also be shown in Commonwealth countries.

The broadcast will also be screened in standard and high definition.

Eventful year

The BBC reports it has been an eventful year for the royal family, with the Queen celebrating her Diamond Jubilee in June.

She also became the first British monarch to reach a 65th wedding anniversary.

However, Buckingham Palace said the Queen missed church on Sunday as she was recovering from a cold. But the BBC reports she is expected to attend on Christmas Day.