Queen Urges People to Bridge Young and Old Generation

Dressed in a spring green outfit, the Queen urged people on Christmas day to bridge the generation gap between the young and old.

In addition, she warned in her annual Christmas broadcast of the pressures of modern life that sometimes seems to weaken family ties, and of the ignorance and misunderstanding which leads to the danger of division.

There was also a message of multi-faith tolerance in her speech. For the first time in its history, the Christmas broadcast featured footage of Muslims praying in a mosque.

The Queen stressed it was easy to focus on the differences between religions rather than what they had in common.

People of different faiths were bound together by the need to help
the young become considerate citizens and all religious communities encouraged the bridging of the generation gap, she said.

The Queen said in her message: "The pressures of modern life sometimes seem to be weakening the links which have traditionally kept us together as families and communities.

"As children grow up and develop their own sense of confidence and independence in the ever-changing technological environment, there is always the danger of a real divide opening up between young and old, based on unfamiliarity, ignorance or misunderstanding.

"It is worth bearing in mind that all of our faith communities encourage the bridging of that divide.

"The wisdom and experience of the great religions point to the need to nurture and guide the young, and to encourage respect for the elderly."

Once again, the Queen's message had a strong Christian framework, but she highlighted the similarities between all religions.

Her message was filmed this year at Southwark Cathedral in London.

The Queen's speech was available as a podcast for the first time this year. She also sent a separate radio message to the armed services and their families yesterday morning and praised the courage of those stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.