Queen Elizabeth's Christmas message focuses on hope ahead

Having "hope in the new dawn" was a central theme of this year's Christmas message from the Queen.

Her Majesty spoke of the challenges of 2020, and how difficult these holidays will be for those who are separated from friends and family.

The Queen herself is spending Christmas in lockdown away from the rest of the Royals.

When the world feels far from joyous and has never felt more apart, Queen Elizabeth says in many ways 2020 has actually brought us together.

"People have risen magnificently to the challenges of the year and I'm so proud and moved by this quiet indomitable spirit," she said in her Christmas message.

In a year that's brought sickness, fear, financial woes, isolation and many dark days, the monarch says the best of humanity has shone through.

"Good Samaritans have emerged across society showing care and respect for all, regardless of gender, race and background, reminding us that each one of us is special and equal in the eyes of God."

Queen Elizabeth delivered her speech from Windsor Castle where she is spending the holiday lockdown with Prince Philip.

She sat next to a photo of only the duke, perhaps a strategic move after last year's message which included photos of all senior royals minus Prince Harry and Meghan.

Usually, the Royal Family celebrates Christmas at the Queen's country retreat, Sandringham House. But this year COVID-19 is keeping them apart.

"Of course, for many this time of year will be tinged with sadness. Some mourning the loss of those dear to them and others missing friends and family members distanced for safety when all they really want for Christmas is a simple hug or a squeeze of the hand. If you are among them you are not alone," the Queen said.

And as the UK battles a new super-strain of COVID-19 the Christmas message tells the story of better days ahead.

"Even in the darkest nights there is hope in the new dawn," the Queen said.

Joy to the world - 2020's Christmas wish.