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26 Dec 2016

Queen invokes Mother's truth

Amit Roy, TT, London, Dec. 25: The Queen, who turned 90 this year, praised Mother Teresa of Calcutta in her traditional Christmas message today.
She began by lauding British medal-winners at the Rio Olympics and those who go out of their way to save lives.
"But to be inspirational you don't have to save lives or win medals. I often draw strength from meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things: volunteers, carers, community organisers and good neighbours; unsung heroes whose quiet dedication makes them special," she said.
"They are an inspiration to those who know them, and their lives frequently embody a truth expressed by Mother Teresa, from this year Saint Teresa of Calcutta."
Quoting Mother Teresa, the Queen said: "She once said, 'Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love'."
Although the biggest event of the year was the referendum vote to leave the European Union back in June, there was no mention in her Christmas message of Brexit, which saw David Cameron resign as Prime Minister and replaced by Theresa May.
The Sun newspaper tried to involve the Queen in the issue when it published a front page suggesting she was in favour of the UK leaving the EU.
Its headline "Queen backs Brexit", published in March, was later ruled to be "significantly misleading" by the Independent Press Standards Organisation after Buckingham Palace complained to the watchdog, insisting the Queen was "politically neutral".
There was another controversial report last week, this time involving May and the Queen.
May is so obsessive about maintaining secrecy around Brexit that she will not share her ideas on leaving the European Union even with the Queen, who has been left "disappointed" with her Prime Minister, according to a report in The Times.
By convention there are supposed to be no political secrets between the monarch and her Prime Minister but May is getting a reputation for keeping her cards very close to her chest.
Some say that May says nothing about Brexit because she has nothing to say, while her supporters maintain she does not want to reveal her negotiating hand - even to the Queen - for fear of a royal leak.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: "By long-established convention we never disclose details of discussions between the Queen and her Prime Ministers. Nor would we comment on anonymously sourced conjecture of this kind."
A Downing Street spokesperson commented: "We never comment on private conversations with the Queen."
The Queen's Christmas message was recorded at Buckingham Palace but she is spending the festive season, as always, at Sandringham, her residence in Norfolk, along with most other members of the royal family. But she missed attending the local church service today.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: "The Queen continues to recover from a heavy cold and will stay indoors to assist with her recovery. Her Majesty will participate in the royal family Christmas celebrations during the day."
A notable absentee at Christmas lunch this year is Prince William, who has gone to his in-laws, the Middletons, in Berkshire along with his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, and their two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Waspish tabloids have characterised the alleged tussle between the Queen and Carole Middleton, Kate's mother, as "the battle of the grannies".

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