Dec 25, 2014 2:25 AM
Queen Elizabeth II praises workers who fight Ebola
The Associated Press
SANDRINGHAM, England (AP) Queen Elizabeth II will use her traditional Christmas broadcast to call for international reconciliation and to praise medical workers fighting Ebola in Africa.
The queen will say she has been "deeply touched" by the "selflessness" of doctors and nurses combating the Ebola outbreak. She also plans to call for reconciliation throughout the world and in the United Kingdom.
Each year the queen writes her own Christmas speech, which is pre-recorded and televised in many parts of the world on the afternoon of Christmas Day. She made her first Christmas broadcast on radio in 1952.
The queen is celebrating the holiday with her husband Prince Philip and other senior royals at the sprawling Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England.
The royals attended a church service Christmas morning before enjoying a gala lunch. Prince William and his pregnant wife Kate were present, but their toddler son, Prince George, did not go to church.
Prince Charles' wife Camilla also did not attend because of a painful back injury suffered earlier this month, officials said.
The queen arrived by car while the other royals walked from her estate to the village church.
Hundreds of well-wishers lined the route to the church to exchange Christmas greetings with the royals. Some shouted with glee as Prince Harry walked by. One visitor from Spain told reporters she had asked Harry to marry her.
William and Kate talked to the crowds briefly after the service when the queen had left by car.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby cancelled his Christmas sermon because of a severe cold. In a statement he expressed "great regret" about his inability to preach his planned sermon about the true meaning of Christmas.
Church officials said the sermon at Canterbury Cathedral would instead be delivered by the Dean of Canterbury Robert Willis.
Katz reported from London.