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Queen Elizabeth Expresses Respect, Admiration for British Troops Overseas

In her annual Christmas message, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II praised the work of Britain's armed forces and said they are an excellent example of the type of teamwork and volunteerism that should be more prevalent in society. In a departure from her usual practice, the Queen delivered her televised speech to all the people of the Commonwealth from an army base in Windsor, west of London.

The teamwork theme of this year's Christmas speech by the monarch focused on the benefit to the community of all kinds of volunteers, people who give their time for others.

And she especially singled out her respect and admiration for the British armed forces serving overseas. "I think we all have very good reasons for feeling proud of their achievements both in war and as they helped to build a lasting peace in trouble spots across the globe," she said. "None of this can be achieved without paying a price. I know that all our thoughts at this time are with the families who are suffering the pain of bereavement. All those who have recently lost a close relative or friend will know how difficult Christmas can be."

During the broadcast from the Household Cavalry Barracks, the Queen was shown talking to soldiers who have recently come back from overseas.

The queen said the men and women in uniform had served brilliantly and she especially wanted to recognize their professionalism in a year when she said so much had been asked of them.