Queen to urge unity in Christmas message after year of Brexit division

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By Rachel Elbaum

LONDON — In a year marked by bitter political debate over Brexit, Queen Elizabeth II will focus on family, friendship and tolerance in her annual Christmas address to the nation.

“Through the many changes I have seen over the years — faith, family and friendship have been not only a constant for me but a source of personal comfort and reassurance,” she will say, according to an excerpt released on the royal family’s Twitter feed ahead of time.

“Even with the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human-being is always a good first step towards greater understanding.”

The theme of unity won’t be lost on a nation that remains divided by the issue of its divorce from the European Union. Britain is due to leave the E.U. in March but the past few months have been marked by political turmoil as ministers debate the terms of the U.K.’s departure from the 28-member bloc.

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