Britain's queen reflects on a year of celebration

Queen's message praises Olympic athletes

    Just Watched

    Queen's message praises Olympic athletes

Queen's message praises Olympic athletes 07:38

Story highlights

  • The queen's Christmas message calls for service to others
  • She mentions her Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics as highlights of 2012
  • "This past year has been one of great celebration for many," the queen says
  • Queen Elizabeth prays that Christ's example and teaching inspire service

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II reflected on a year of personal and Olympic celebration in a Christmas message Tuesday that emphasized serving others.

"This past year has been one of great celebration for many," the 86-year-old monarch said in a videotaped message, reflecting on her Diamond Jubilee, which she called "especially memorable for me and my family."

She added: "It was humbling that so many chose to mark the anniversary of a duty which passed to me 60 years ago."

Photos: Diamond Jubilee celebrations

Her message also cited "a splendid summer of sport" with the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, which she called inspiring and filled with excitement and drama.

A look back at the Queen's Jubilee year

    Just Watched

    A look back at the Queen's Jubilee year

A look back at the Queen's Jubilee year 02:23

The queen noted that Christmas celebrates God sending his only son "to serve, not to be served."

"He restored love and service to the center of our lives in the person of Jesus Christ," she said. "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."

Prince William: 30 years in photos

      CNN Recommends

    • pkg clancy north korea nuclear dreams_00002004.jpg

      As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
    • Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
    • pkg rivers uk football match fixing_00005026.jpg

      Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
    • No Eiffel Towers, Statues of Liberties, Mt. Rushmores, Taj Mahals, Aussie koalas or Chairman Maos.

      It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.