NEWS
12/24/2017 16:31 EST | Updated 12/24/2017 16:40 EST

In Christmas message, queen honours cities hit by terror

LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II is using her annual Christmas message to pay tribute to the way the cities of London and Manchester pulled together after extremist attacks this year.

Remarks pre-recorded by the 91-year-old monarch will be broadcast on Christmas Day in the United Kingdom, Canada and the other Commonwealth countries.

Excerpts released by Buckingham Palace indicate Elizabeth praises the "powerful identities" of Manchester and London.

The Queen, her husband, Prince Philip, and family members plan to attend a church service Monday on the grounds of Elizabeth's country estate in Sandringham. They typically mingle with locals who come to watch them arrive at church.

The royal family has a private lunch scheduled afterward. This is the first Christmas the family will be joined by Prince Harry's fiancee, American actress Meghan Markle.