Queen calls for togetherness at Christmas
Looking past the scandal which has at times shaken the royal family in 2012, a humble Queen Elizabeth has sent out a global thanks to those who helped celebrate her 60-year reign.
During the monarch's Christmas message, in which she became the first royal to appear in 3D format, the 86-year-old sovereign touched on friendship, sport, duty and religion.
In her address, the Queen recognised the efforts of those serving in the armed forces and emergency services.
Grandson Prince Harry, 28, continues to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan in his role as a British Army apache helicopter co-pilot.
Earlier in the year, the playboy prince attracted unwanted exposure when caught short of clothing on camera during a game of strip billiards in Las Vegas.
Prince William's much-adored bride Catherine also made global headlines as topless photos taken during a holiday in France popped up in tabloids and glossy magazines.
The surrounding hubbub soon came to an end with the announcement that the Duchess of Cambridge, 30, is expecting her first baby.
However, news of the royal pregnancy led to further controversy with the death of a nurse working at a hospital where Catherine was being treated for acute morning sickness.
While there was no mention of her own family in her address, the Queen focused on community spirit and support.
''It's important at this time of year to reach out beyond our familiar relationships to think of those who are on their own,'' she said.
The Queen sent her thanks to those who helped celebrate her Diamond Jubilee Year.
''It was humbling that so many chose to mark the anniversary of a duty which passed to me 60 years ago. People of all ages took the trouble to take part in various ways and in many nations,'' she said.
She labelled the London 2012 Games as a ''splendid summer of sport'', with mention of the dedicated volunteers who contributed to the city's successful role as Olympics host.
''It is my prayer this Christmas Day that his example and teaching will continue to bring people together to give the best of themselves in the service of others,'' the Queen said of Jesus Christ.
''I wish you all a very happy Christmas.''