LONDON (Reuters) - Queen Elizabeth focused on what she called the value of doing small things with great love in her annual Christmas message on Sunday, reflecting on inspirational examples of “ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”
Elizabeth celebrated her 90th birthday in 2016 and marked the year with a series of special events across Britain and the Commonwealth. She also became the world’s longest-reigning living monarch after the death of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej in October.
“It’s understandable that we sometimes think the world’s problems are so big that we can do little to help,” she said.
“On our own, we cannot end wars or wipe out injustice, but the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagine.”
Elizabeth, the head of the Church of England, also referred to the life of Jesus, noting that despite his humble beginnings and maligned life, billions of people now rely on his teachings and draw inspiration from his example.
The monarch paid tribute to the British athletes who took part in the Olympic games in Brazil and the staff at the air ambulance base in Cambridge where her grandson Prince William works as a helicopter pilot.
Elizabeth also noted that her husband’s “Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme” and son Prince Charles’ “Prince’s Trust”, both charitable organisations that support young people, had reached significant milestones this year - 60 and 40 years respectively.
The British monarch was 25 when she ascended the throne in 1952, learning of her father George VI’s death while travelling in Kenya. After six decades, her early life was this year serialised in a popular Netflix television show “The Crown”.
The seasonal royal messages date back to King George V in 1932 and are usually pre-recorded from the monarch’s London residence, Buckingham Palace.
Reporting by Adela Suliman; editing by Stephen Addison