Gala Christmas Day in country for Queen Elizabeth II, family

GREGORY KATZ and JON SUPER Associated Press SANDRINGHAM, England (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II and her close family spent a gala Christmas Day at her palatial countryside retreat, feasting on locally-reared turkey after attending a church service. The queen's traditional pre-recorded Christmas message was broadcast throughout Britain and the Commonwealth nations Wednesday afternoon. Britain's longest reigning monarch emphasized the need for forgiveness and reconciliation and admitted it had been a difficult year. Talking about the desire to follow the example set by Jesus Christ, she said: "The path, of course, is not always smooth, and may at times this year have felt quite bumpy, but small steps can make a world of difference." Surrounded by family photos, the queen also spoke about
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