Queen Elizabeth II to praise those who inspired her in talk

St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle where Queen Elizabeth II attends services every Sunday

The Queen recorded her Christmas message in Buckingham Palace's regency room while seated at a desk decorated with a floral display and featuring a photograph of her with the Prince of Wales, released earlier this month to mark the end of the Queen's 90th birthday year. She had attended the traditional service at the church of St Mary Magdalene, near the royal estate, every year since 1988.

Other members of the Royal Family are still expected to attend the service.

Onlookers wait in vain for the Queen's arrival at the church near the royals' Sandringham estate. She has not missed the Christmas service at Sandringham and shaking hands with well-wishers in almost 30 years.

Her Majesty, who celebrated her 90 birth anniversary this year, is now the patron of around 600 charities and bodies, after having announced stepping down as patron of 25 charities and organizations earlier in the week. Prince William, second-in-line to the throne, was spending Christmas with the parents of his wife, Kate.

In a statement on Wednesday, Buckingham Palace said: "The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have heavy colds, and so have decided not to travel to Sandringham today".

The annual televised message will be broadcast at 3 pm today.

For the broadcast, the Queen is wearing a deep jade, silk cloque dress by Angela Kelly, and a pearl and diamond brooch also worn by the Queen Mother.

Elizabeth has maintained the popularity of the monarchy despite years of political, social and cultural change since she became Queen Elizabeth II in 1952, aged just 25.

'Not all of us can do great things.

A spokesman said the Queen would stay indoors to help her recover but said she would still participate in the family's Christmas celebrations. "But we can do small things with great love".

But, she added, "to be inspirational you don't have to save lives or win medals".

The Times reported on Wednesday that Philip carried out the more public engagements previous year than did his grandsons William and Harry, and William's wife Kate combined.

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