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Queen hails Olympic stars in speech
The Queen will pay tribute in her Christmas broadcast to the nation's Olympic and Paralympic athletes for inspiring all those who watched their achievements.
The monarch will hail the "splendid summer of sport" and highlight how the sportsmen and women gave the spectators the chance to feel part of the "excitement and drama".
For the first time the national address will be broadcast in 3D, a technological advance the Queen was happy to embrace.
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman outlined the themes of the message: "The Queen's broadcast this year focuses on service, achievement and the spirit of togetherness."
During the address, which will be broadcast in full on Christmas Day, the Queen will say: "As London hosted a splendid summer of sport, all those who saw the achievement and courage at the Olympic and Paralympic Games were further inspired by the skill, dedication, training and teamwork of our athletes. In pursuing their own sporting goals, they gave the rest of us the opportunity to share something of the excitement and drama."
Behind the scenes footage of the broadcast, made on December 7, has also been released. The Queen is shown meeting senior staff from Sky News which produced this year's Christmas message.
And in other footage the monarch wears 3D glasses as she watches part of the broadcast. They are decorated on each side with the letter Q made from Swarovski crystals and were worn by the Queen during a visit to a movie training centre in Toronto in 2010.
The message was recorded in Buckingham Palace's white drawing room and the Queen is dressed in a fine silk tulle gown by Angela Kelly - an outfit she first wore during the summer thanksgiving service that marked the Diamond Jubilee.
On her shoulder is the Duchess of Cambridge's pendant brooch that once belonged to Queen Mary's grandmother, Princess Augusta.
The Christmas address is written by the Queen and usually has a strong religious framework, reflects current issues and draws on her own experiences over the past year. The speech is one of the rare occasions when she does not turn to the Government for advice but is able to voice her own views.