Queen's Christmas message to urge people with 'deeply held differences' to respect each other

The Queen has urged people in a divided nation to respect each other’s views.

In an unusually direct message in her traditional Christmas broadcast, the monarch has acknowledged the differences which exist across the country and has urged people to be more understanding.

She does not mention Brexit by name, nor does she single out a particular political row in Westminster, but some of her words have been released on Christmas Eve to ensure as many people as possible will hear them.

In her televised broadcast which will be aired on Christmas Day, the Queen will encourage people to show more consideration.

"Even with the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human being is always a good first step towards greater understanding."

And on the day when two billion Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Queen speaks about how his message is just as relevant today as it has ever been.

"I believe his message of peace on earth and goodwill to all is never out of date. It can be heeded by everyone; it's needed as much as ever."

Brexit has dominated the news throughout 2018. Credit: PA

The broadcast, from the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace, was recorded before the end of the parliamentary term.

The cameras recorded the Queen on the morning that Theresa May was told she would be facing a vote of no confidence from her own MPs.

The words were also written before the claims that Jeremy Corbyn called Theresa May a "stupid woman".

The Labour leader denies the accusations and insisted he was referring to the ‘stupid people’ who are managing our exit from the EU.

Nevertheless, the head of state will have chosen her words carefully to reflect, not on a single event, but on the wider debate surrounding Brexit and the increasingly acrimonious discourse between the supporters and opponents of Brexit.

It's her last Christmas broadcast before the United Kingdom is due to officially leave the European Union.

The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles on Boxing Day 1949. Credit: PA

Of her own long reign, the Queen will say that her family and strong Christian beliefs have always helped to give her strength and encouragement.

She says: "Through the many changes I have seen over the years, faith, family and friendship have been not only a constant for me but a source of personal comfort and reassurance."

The Queen and the Royal Family sit above the political debate and they have never expressed a view about the result of the 2016 referendum to leave the European Union.

Asked whether the Queen was referring to the political debate around Brexit, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: "The Queen's words speak for themselves."

The Queen holds a weekly private meeting with her prime minister. Theresa May is the 13th leader since the Queen acceded the throne in 1952.

The monarch has seen turbulent political times before: the Suez crisis, the Winter of Discontent, and the mass unemployment under Margaret Thatcher, to name a few.

But it's clear she is very concerned about the divided state of Britain as we enter the final weeks before Brexit on 29 March 2019.