The Queen of England has declared 2012 full of "excitement and drama," making special mention of London's "splendid" Olympics in her annual Christmas message to the Commonwealth. In a message prerecorded in 3D and parts of which were released ahead of a Christmas Day broadcast, Queen Elizabeth II used the Olympics as a mark of the year's achievements, according to the Guardian saying:
"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."
The Queen is no novice when it comes to broadcasting on radio and TV — her first Christmas speech was broadcast on radio in 1952 and her first televised message in 1957, the Guardian wrote. Nor is she a stranger to 3D, having undergone movie training in Toronto, Canada, in 2010.
The 86-year-old monarch, pictured viewing a preview of her annual Christmas message in 3D, was said to be delighted with the recording, calling it "absolutely lovely," according to the Daily Mail. A Buckingham Palace spokesman said:
"We wanted to do something a bit different and special in this jubilee year, so doing it for the first time in 3D seemed a good thing, technology-wise, to do. The Queen absolutely agreed straight away - there was no need for convincing at all, she was absolutely ready to embrace something new in this year."
The Queen and Prince Philip, 91, will spend Christmas Day at their country estate, Sandringham, hosting a family gathering that her star grandchildren — princes William and Harry — will miss.
Prince William will spend the day with his pregnant wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, at her parents' house while Harry is on duty with the British military in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the Queen missed a regular Sunday church service at Sandringham for the first time "in living memory," according to the Daily Mail, having come down with a nasty cold.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said:
"She is getting over the tail end of a cold. It will certainly be business as usual this week. She hopes to be at church for the Christmas Day service, absolutely."