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British Queen Posts Christmas Message on Internet

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has joined the YouTube generation in posting her annual Christmas message to the Commonwealth on the popular video Web site. The move has come on the 50th anniversary of her first televised Christmas speech. For VOA, Tom Rivers in London reports.

Fifty years ago, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II for the first time used the then new technology of television to deliver her Christmas Day message.

"Her majesty the Queen sends her Christmas message to her people throughout the Commonwealth," said the TV announcer.

"That it is possible some of you see me today, it is just another example of the speed at which things are changing all around us," Queen Elizabeth said.

A half-century later the Queen is still using the technology of the day to deliver her message. And this year, for the first time, her broadcast is being distributed on the YouTube video-sharing internet site.

For the 81-year-old monarch, change it seems, is inevitable.

"One of the features of growing old is the heightened awareness of change. To remember what happened 50 years ago means that it is possible to appreciate what has changed in the meantime, it also makes you aware of what has remained constant," she said.

One of constants the Queen says, is the importance of the family and of helping others less fortunate.

"It is all too easy to turn a blind eye, to pass by on the other side, and leave it to experts and professionals," she said. "All the great religious teaching of the world press home the message that everyone has a responsibility to care for the vulnerable."

The Queen as well praised those in the armed forces serving away from their families overseas in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I pray that all of you who are missing those who are dear to you will find strength and comfort in your families and friends," she added.

And despite the passage of time, the essence of the Queen's message today remained largely the same as it was a half century ago.

"Wherever these words find you and whatever circumstances, I want to wish you all a blessed Christmas," she concluded.