12/25/2011 10:11 EST | Updated 02/24/2012 05:12 EST

Queen's Christmas Speech Focuses On Family

Queen Elizabeth's annual Christmas address deals with the importance of family and community spirit as a source of strength in troubled times.

The speech looks back on an eventful year for the Royal Family. In April, the Queen's grandson Prince William married Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey, an event that garnered headlines around the world.

The Queen speaks of the Commonwealth as a family of countries “with a common bond, shared beliefs, mutual values and goals.” She also touches on recent natural disasters and conflicts.

“In this past year my family and I have been inspired by the courage and hope that we have seen in so many ways in Britain, in the Commonwealth and around the world,” she says.

“We’ve seen that it’s in hardship that we often find strength from our families.”

The speech aired worldwide on TV and radio at 10 a.m. ET and is available online through the Royal Family's YouTube channel.

Elizabeth's seven-minute address was recorded on Dec. 9, prior to the recent hospitalization of her 90-year-old husband, Prince Philip.

The video address is interspersed with images from the Queen's recent visit to Australia, where she presided over a meeting of Commonwealth leaders and toured areas of the country that had been badly damaged by flooding.

“We were moved by the way families in local communities held together to support each other,” she says.

Writes her own remarks

The 85-year-old monarch also mentions Prince William’s visit to New Zealand after the country was hit by a strong earthquake, and her son Prince Charles’s trip to a community in Wales where a mining disaster claimed the lives of several workers.

Britain's relationship with other countries is a theme of the address, as her family prepares to visit a number of Commonwealth states in 2012 to help mark her 60 years on the throne.

The Queen mentions her state visit to Ireland as an example that once troubled relations can "through sorrow and forgiveness" be resuscitated.

"It is through this lens of history that we should view the conflicts of today and so give us hope for tomorrow,” she says.

The Queen wore a strawberry-coloured dress to record the speech, which was taped in Buckingham Palace.

Her annual Christmas broadcast has been a tradition on radio since 1952, and on TV since 1957. The Queen writes the speeches herself, one of the few occasions she voices her own opinion without government consultation.